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Reaching out a helping hand… Elizabethton First Baptist taking to the links to help a neighbor in need

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
When many see a church, the first thing that comes to mind is a place of worship but the church should also be considered a place where people can find hope, healing, and love.
 
First Baptist Church of Elizabethton has taken that to heart over the last five to ten years by helping those in the community who need assistance that might not be able to help themselves.
 
This Saturday, August 29th at the Elizabethton Golf Course, the church has taken on one of their largest fundraising projects to help a member of the community who is in dire need of housing and the community can lend a helping hand as well by coming out to play, sponsoring a hole, or just simply making a donation to the church to help with the project.
 
“This is the first time we have done a specific fundraiser to help out a person,” said Richard Fregosi who is one of the members heading up the project. “The last two to three years we have really pushed to help people more and more.”
 
The fundraiser is to help a woman in the community by the name of Patricia whose current home is no longer suitable for living. A gracious donor has stepped forth to provide a mobile home that will be placed beside her current home on her property.
 
By hosting the fundraiser, the church is raising the monies necessary to transport the mobile home to her residence, set it up on blocks, and get the electricity and water run to the mobile home.
 
The amount of money that the golf tournament hopes to raise is to take care of the additional costs is a little over $7,000 and if more monies are raised from the event, that will go to help others in the community as well.
 
“I went over to her house and found out the house is destroyed,” said Fregosi. “She is living in one room and I really don’t know how the house has kept from falling down.
 
“The roof is gone and when it rains, water runs into the second level and then comes down to the first level. We went thinking it could be repaired but once we saw it we knew it couldn’t be.
 
“Once we get the trailer set up we are going to go and clean up around the house. There are weeds that are probably three feet high around the house.”
 
The church has also been very active in the meals on wheels program and feeding students in elementary, junior high, and high school. 
 
“In the five years I have been there and Pastor Todd Hallman as well our church has been reaching out more and more as we try to reach beyond our parish to other individuals,” Fregosi added.
 
To help assist, players can play a round of golf for $50 per player or $200 for a four-man team and are asked to call 423-543-1931 to pre-register. Hole sponsorships are available to local businesses and individuals as a partner for $100.
 
The tournament will start with a 1:00 pm shotgun start. There will be a closest to the pin and long-drive contest as well.
 
For those who don’t play golf but would like to make a donation, those donations may be sent directly to First Baptist Church, 212 E F Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643. Those making donations are asked to write “Community Benevolence” in the memo section of the check.