The Dixie Open is about people caring about others.
For the 17th year, on Sunday, Nov. 11, friends and family of Dixie and Jim Conley will play in a four-person scramble at Oxbow Golf Course near Belpre to honor the Conleys and raise money for charity.
Dixie Conley, formerly of Belpre, suffered a debilitating stroke in North Carolina in 1992. Seemingly in perfect health at the time, Dixie was 52 when the stroke sent her into a coma for two weeks, said her husband, Jim. Jim brought Dixie back to the Mid-Ohio Valley, where she has required constant care for the past 20 years.
For 14.5 years, Jim, with the assistance of a home health aide, cared for Dixie in the Conleys' Belpre home. Dixie now stays at Muskingum Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation in Beverly, where Jim is at her side at least four days a week, four hours a day.
The Dixie Open was started by Oxbow general manager Mark Brooks, Ben Smeltzer and former Oxbow golf professional Ted Daugherty to raise money for the Conleys after Dixie's stroke. The Conleys enjoyed playing golf at Oxbow.
"The Conleys are wonderful people," Brooks said. "People play in the Dixie Open who know her. It is a fun tournament." Brooks makes his popular Cincinnati Chili for the fundraiser.
The Conleys decided to donate the proceeds from the Dixie Open to charitable causes. Over the years, those receiving the proceeds from the golf tournament have included Wood County Society, Camp ECHO, 9-11 victims, Fisher House, St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the American Red Cross, Jim Christy Fund for Kids at Marietta Memorial Hospital and a girl paralyzed in a traffic accident.
The beneficiary of this year's Dixie Open is Wounded Warriors. Jim said he is deeply affected by the injuries suffered by U.S. servicemen overseas.
Jim said Dixie selects the charity with his help. "Dixie asks me about the golf tournament," he said.
"Dixie has accepted her station in life," Jim said. "We are very much in love - forever. She'd be doing the same for me" if the situation was reversed, he said.
To enter the Dixie Open, contact Oxbow Golf Course at 740-423-6771.
Bob Cline of Parkersburg believes he has found a niche in patriotic tourism. Cline, president of U.S. Tours in Parkersburg, participated, as a member of the Travel Alliance Partners, in the first Bob Hope USO Show Tribute in Virginia Beach Oct. 15-18. The U.S. Tours-produced event attracted 1,200 people who stayed at 12 hotels during the tribute shows and tours, Cline said. Musical tributes were "New Jersey Nights," the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons; Big Band music of the 1930s-50s, including the music of Tommy Dorsey and a tribute to Frank Sinatra, and musicians playing as the Glenn Miller AAF Band in World War II uniforms along with tribute artists performing as Bob Hope and the Andrews Sisters. Participants toured the U.S. Naval Base, Nauticus museum, USS Wisconsin, MacArthur Memorial Museum, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Museum and the Virginia Beach Military Aviation Center. Cline, the Bob Hope tribute artist and others presented a $20,180 check to the Virginia Beach Area USO.
Vendors are seeking to participate in next Sunday's event from 2-5 p.m. at the Parkersburg Country Club to raise money for a low-cost spay and neuter clinic to be built in Parkersburg. The theme is "Shop & Stop" - shop for Christmas and Stop, for the Stop Pet Overpopulation committee working on the project, said event organizer Karen Katchur. There will be more than 20 vendors and a silent auction featuring crafts, designer purses, art donated by local artists and other items for Christmas shoppers, Katchur said. More than $300,000 has been raised to build the clinic, but additional money is needed to operate it, Katchur said. Advance tickets are $10 and are available at Lee's Studio, Jon Six Salon, Buttermore Jewelers and the Humane Society of Parkersburg shelter.
Contact Paul LaPann at email@example.com