Kaden Costner, son of Samantha Jackson got in on the fun decorating a golf cart for the Oct. 1 Swinging For Samantha Golf Tournament in Horseshoe Bend. Jackson is in the background. His brother Christian and team members Ashton McGill and Layton Smith took the top golf decorating honors and a $100 cash prize.
By: Tammy Curtis, Managing Editor
52 teams that included 156 area golfers showed up in the chilly morning hours of Oct. 1 at Turkey Mountain Golf Course in Horseshoe Bend for the Swinging for Samantha benefit golf tournament. They were decked out in every shade of pink to raise money for Samantha Jackson, a local cancer patient and friend to many.
Despite the temperatures, many of the men, women and even children, took time out to cleverly decorate their golf carts for the fun event. Some teams even worked the night before to deck out their carts. As the day went on the wind died down and the sun shined down on the course.
Team members were very competitive with their decorating skill and teams dressed in zany attire to show their support.
The tournament was a fundraiser to assist Jackson with medical expenses after her recent diagnosis of breast cancer and subsequent double mastectomy.
After undergoing her first ever mammogram on June, 8, Samantha was called to Batesville for a follow up ultrasound. With no history of breast cancer in her family, she was hoping the results were incorrect. As a nurse, she recalled seeing the image on ultrasound and knowing it was cancer. After sending the biopsy off for analysis, a few weeks later she received the life changing news. She was diagnosed with Invasive Ductal Carcinoma.
This sent her life into whirlwind with many difficult decisions having to be made nearly instantly. Samantha opted for a double mastectomy immediately. She had surgery on Aug. 19 and has been recovering since. She received the news that she will have to take medication for the cancer and not have to undergo chemotherapy, which was somewhat of a relief. She has kept a good attitude and allowed her family and friends to be there for her through the life altering process.
Samantha was on site for the tournament and able to visit with the huge group of her supporters. She even delivered barbecue meals prepared by Paul Curtis and served by the Curtis family and Mack Thompson to players as they stopped by the food tables to grab a bite to eat before returning to the course.
The event, hosted by Spring River Chronicle and Costner and Son Farms raised nearly $7,000 for Jackson through the tournament, silent auction, raffle and meal.
Many enjoyed the added cart decorating contest in which Samantha’s son and his team were voted crowd favorite and took away the $100 cash prize. The creativity of the decorators was both touching and humorous. Signs supporting Sam were displayed on many as were large “Boobers”.
Golfers were also able to take home thousands in prize money from the event and a few even opted to donate the money back.
Samantha said she was overwhelmed by the support she has received. She said while she wasn’t great at giving speeches she and her family were very grateful for the huge outpouring of love for her and her family from the community, players, sponsors and volunteers who took time out of their weekend to spend the day at the golf course in her honor.
She will begin taking her cancer medications this Monday and is remaining optimistic about her diagnosis. She said she plans to give back next year when the very successful tournament will be in its second year and hopes to raise even more money to help a local breast cancer patient and benefit a charity that helps combat breast cancer.