May 5, 2006

Tournament tees up funds for kids

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Professional golfer Catherine Cartwright visited patients at the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt this week in advance of the Franklin American Mortgage Championship.
Photo by Anne Rayner

Tournament tees up funds for kids

The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is back in Middle Tennessee this week for the Franklin American Mortgage Championship. The tournament benefits the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt and is hosted by Amy Grant and Vince Gill.

LPGA pro Catherine Cartwright, from Benita Springs, Fla., got a tour of Children's Hospital on Tuesday, led by Amy Casseri, director of Communications and Community Relations.

Among the young patients they visited were Marianna and Garrison Blose. The 1-month-old twins were born prematurely and were being cared for in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Their father, Russ Blose, explained that while Marianna, the larger twin, might be going home in a matter of weeks, it would probably be a little later for her twin. “But I think Garrison is going to be the fighter,” Blose told Cartwright.

Cartwright and her father, Paul Cartwright, said they have family roots in Nashville, so it felt good playing the tournament here, and they were excited to get a chance to see how funds from the event will be used.

“You all have set the bar pretty high,” Cartwright said. “This hospital is beautiful.”

The first round of the tournament began May 4 and play finishes on Sunday, May 7, at the Vanderbilt Legends Club.

The 144-player field for the Franklin American Mortgage Championship includes defending champion Stacy Prammanasudh, Kraft Nabisco Champion Karrie Webb and LPGA Takefuji Classic winner Lorena Ochoa, who also won the Nashville tournament two years ago.

Overall, 22 players on the 2005 Top 30 Money List will be participating The total purse for the 2006 tournament is $1.1 million. The winner's share is $165,000.

The Franklin American Mortgage Championship event has raised millions for local charities in the greater Nashville area, with Children's Hospital as the major recipient of proceeds.