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5th Annual Ugly Iron Golf Tournament

The annual Ugly Iron Classic golf tournament was held this morning at the Chenango Valley State Park. The event is held every year to benefit the local Fraternal Order of Police and the Crime Victims Assistance Center. Both organizations count on
fund raisers like this tournament to help run their programs.

"We use our proceeds to fund scholarships for students entering into criminal justice and we also do it for a police memorial fund. Every year there's a police memorial and we fund the flowers for that for the fallen police officers," said Eric Kelley, president of FOP, Southern Tier.

Both organizations have had to find more creative ways to raise money. Once they discovered that their employees enjoyed golfing, they decided to put that talent to good use.

"The work that we all do, police and crime victims, can be very difficult and stressful. We see a lot of awful things. So actually, to be able to come out here and have a good time is something nice for us," said Raini Baudendistel, executive director of the Crime Victims Assistance Center.

"With the biggest turnout ever, there are over 20 teams at this year's Ugly Iron Classic. Despite the gloomy weather everybody is out in good spirits and hitting their golf balls hard."

The tournament today was even more successful thanks to over 50 donations from area businesses and the tournament's 12 sponsors. Local supporters say their more than happy to help out such a great cause.
"The way the economy is, everybody out there asking for donations. It was important that we make some monetary contribution from our business to help keep these great services alive," said Paul Battisti of Battisti and Garzo law offices.

The rain held off for the golfers today and everyone was happy to be helping the community.

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