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September 28--  The Sweet Onion Classic Golf Tournament has raised over a million dollars for local causes in its history and continued the tradition Thursday night at the Vidalia Community Center.

At the annual pre-tournament auction, checks totaling nearly $60,000 were handed out to eight agencies and organizations in Toombs County.

{mosimage}The largest single donation of $25,000 was made to the Meadows Healthcare Foundation. The Foundation's Melissa Hightower says the money will be used to help the new cancer center whichis being built on the grounds of the local hospital. (L-R Hightower, Brian Bishop, Dennis Ingley and B.J. Davis)

"In this area people are driving to Statesboro, Savannah, Augusta, Macon and Atlanta to receive radiation and chemotherapy treatment.  This cancer center will be about 18,000 square feet and include radiation and chemotherapy and be and opportunity for local people to receive quality healthcare," Hightower says.

{mosimage}The second largest Sweet Onion Classic grant being made this year is $10,000 to the Toombs County Boys and Girls Club.  Board chairperson Dianne Zimnavoda says the money is needed to help equip the Club's new building which is under construction in Vidalia. (L-R Howard Hill, Lisa Bishop, Diane Zimnavoda and Howard Holman)

"It's going to be used to make that Boys and Girls Club the best place for kids in the county," Zimnavoda promises.

The Sweet Onion Classic awarded $5,000 each to the local Red Cross, the Vidalia Education Foundation, the Altama Gallery and the Vidalia High School video production class.  Awards of $2,500 each were made to Robert Toombs Christian Academy in Lyons and Open Doors to the Handicapped.

In additon to proceeds from the auction, golfers pay $500 each to play in the 18-hole charity tournament at Hawk's Point Golf Course in Vidalia.