Over the past 29 years, many generous supporters, large and small, have contributed to the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s efforts to fund life-saving prostate cancer research. One source of support has been steadily increasing over nearly a decade, becoming the largest single private fundraiser benefiting PCF: the Wild Dunes Men’s Golf Association (WDMGA) Charity Golf Event and Auction.
The 10th annual event will be held May 13, 2023, at Wild Dunes Links and Harbor Courses in Isle of Palms, SC. WDMGA announced a record-setting fundraising goal for 2023 — $400,000 to fund prostate cancer research while raising awareness of a disease that will affect one in eight men in his lifetime.
Vice president and event chairman Michael Muzzy works with a devoted team to accomplish this feat. “Over the past nine years, this event has raised more than $820,000 for the Prostate Cancer Foundation. We are gaining momentum, and we have our sights set on doing even more,” Muzzy said. “Over those nine years, PCF has made tremendous progress in funding high-impact research projects including clinical research to evaluate new drugs, and new treatment strategies that are improving outcomes for patients. Our community is very close-knit, and we all come together to do something special that is making people’s lives better.”
The charity event started small in 2014 with a handful of WDMGA members whose lives were personally affected by the disease, including Wild Dunes club professional Jeff Minton who had lost his father to prostate cancer. Vowing to take action to end the suffering of countless men and their families, they launched the Wild Dunes charity golf fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting PCF.
Muzzy has chaired the WDMGA PCF committee since 2019 and has grown the event by expanding the volunteer planning committee, enlisting the support of community businesses, increasing corporate sponsorships, securing world-class auction items and creating auxiliary events that bring in new patrons. “My first year as chair we raised $60,000. That’s good, but I knew we could do better,” Muzzy said. The committee have consistently grown the event, almost doubling the amount raised year over year.
The 2022 WDMGA Charity Golf Event attracted 220 golfers and raised $300,000 to benefit PCF, exceeding its $250,000 goal. Muzzy said the 2022 event enabled WDMGA to fund a three-year PCF Young Investigator Award, an award program intended to identify a cohort of future research leaders who will keep the field of prostate cancer research vibrant with new ideas and support early-career physicians and scientists who are dedicating their careers to the study of prostate cancer. For 2023, the target is 300 golfers and $400,000 raised for PCF. These funds are earmarked to support another PCF Young Investigator.
Muzzy credits much of the success of recent years to key committee individuals such as WDMGA president Mike Gollobin, Wild Dunes club pro Jeff Minton, and the Charleston artist Gordon Wheeler, who has been commissioned to paint the official prints for several Ryders Cups and PGA Championships, and whose golf art is collected worldwide.
To reserve a spot at the 2023 charity tournament, and for sponsorship and auction donation information, contact Muzzy at 516-220-6580 or [email protected]. All proceeds benefit PCF.
“We are honored and grateful to the Wild Dunes Men’s Golf Association for their generous support which enables PCF to advance our mission of ending death and suffering from prostate cancer,” said PCF President and CEO Charles J. Ryan, MD. “Spending a day on the links is a great example of healthy lifestyle activities that can help reduce prostate cancer risk. Healthy lifestyle modifications have been convincingly shown to reduce the risk of cancer onset and progression, including prostate cancer.”