Men, women can team up for first Hayden Memorial

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The Friends of St. Francis have so much success with the Annual Benefit Golf Tournament in August that officials decided to add another to the schedule.

The first Ken Hayden Memorial Golf Tournament is scheduled for May 24 at Cape Girardeau Country Club. The event will have an unusual format: mixed doubles.

"There are quite a few golf tournaments already," said William Kiel, executive director of the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation. "We wanted to do something a little different, and we wanted to do something for women."

Proceeds from the tournament will fund the St. Francis Women's HeartAdvantage program, which is aimed at educating women in an effort to prevent early heart disease, Kiel said.

Naming the event in Hayden's honor was an easy decision. Hayden, who died in April of 2002, was a member of the St. Francis Medical Center Board of Directors and the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors. His community activity also included membership in the Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Missouri State University boosters, Notre Dame Regional High School Board of Directors and St. Vincent DePaul Society.

"We meet certain people in life that we don't ever want to forget," Kiel said, "and Ken was one of those people. He spent a great deal of his life helping people."

Hayden's widow, Glenda Parsons Hayden, is honorary chair of the event, according to a press release.

"My husband was dedicated to improving the health of the Cape Girardeau Community," she said in a press release announcing the tournament. "He was an avid golfer, and in my opinion, an excellent one. He would be proud to know this tournament is being held in his honor and in support of such a good cause."

St. Francis also raises funds with an annual benefit tournament in August. The success of that event -- it has been sold out for 17 years, bringing about 250 golfers last year -- helped bring about the start of the Hayden Memorial tournament.

"Hopefully, this will be the first of many," Kiel said. "The tournaments have been excellent fund-raisers as well as friend-raisers. We see them as an opportunity to pull supporters in and tell them a little about the hospital."

The Hayden will be open to 70 mixed doubles teams with an entry fee of $200 per twosome. The event includes 18 holes, lunch and prizes. To register, call the St. Francis Medical Center Foundation, 331-5133.

The tournament also is looking for about 10 corporate sponsors for the event. Those interested can contact Kiel at the previously listed number.

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