By Dylan Marson

The EKU PGA Golf Management program is supporting ALS awareness this week with the newly founded John Hines Classic.

The event will honor the Head Golf Professional at the University Club at Arlington, John Hines, who was recently diagnosed with ALS earlier this year. Set for Oct. 20, the tournament is raising money that will both support the ALS Association and Hines as he continues to battle the disease.

“John has been an advocate for our program and done an excellent job as head professional at Arlington,” said Kim Kincer, the director of PGA Golf Management. “We are just trying to honor John and raise money and awareness.”

Hines has served on multiple PGA committees both locally and nationally. He is the recipient of the 2011 PGA Patriot award after founding a golf tournament that benefits returning military veterans.

Hines has also received other notable rewards such as the 2008 MET Section PGA Horton Smith Award and the 2006 MET Section PGA Eli Callaway Award after serving on multiple national PGA committees.

Kincer said Hines is a good man who has been dealt a terrible diagnosis and that they are lucky to have him as their head golf professional. This event is an opportunity to make a difference and honor him.

“John is a really close friend of mine,” said Matt Salva, a junior PGA Management major. “He was one of the first people who helped me out with golf when I got here.”

Salva said there are a lot of programs out there that support ALS research and promote awareness, but not many that can directly help individuals. This event will be able to do just that, and benefit Hines, making sure he has the resources he needs in the future.

ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. According to the ALS Association, there are more than 20,000 Americans who have the disease at any given time. Recent years have brought forth a wealth of new knowledge, and while there is not yet a cure, scientists have made a lot of progress in learning more about the disease. The ALS Association offers more information on the disease at alsa.org.

The John Hines Classic will begin at 9 a.m. at the University Club at Arlington. The tournament will be an 18-hole, four-person scramble with a shotgun start. The event will also include a silent auction to benefit the ALS association, several contests where participants can win prizes and a provided lunch. Attending the event will be PGM alumni and other notable community members such as Richmond Mayor Jim Barnes. All participating players will receive a ticket to the EKU Homecoming Football game Oct. 21.

Anyone who would like to make a contribution but does not want to participate in the golf tournament, is welcome to attend the silent auction. More information on how to get involved can be found at pgm.eku.edu or by calling the Golf Management Office at 859-622-4976.