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Golf tournament raises funds to help overcome addictions
S-Charity Golf Tourney pic1
Mike McKague tries to sink a putt during last weeks 5th annual Jericho House Golf Tournament at Chestatee Golf Club while the rest of his teammates from last years winning foursome look on. - photo by Amy French Dawson County News

The Jericho House, a non-profit drug and alcohol recovery program, held its fifth annual golf tournament last week in hopes of raising funds to expand facilities and services.

Participants from Dawson and surrounding counties came out to enjoy time with friends and help the cause.

"It's always fun," said Dawsonville resident George Edmondson. "I play lousy, but it's still fun."

The fundraising tournament took place at Chestatee Golf Club in a scramble format.

The aim is to bring awareness to the ministry while raising funds to support their mission.

That mission is to be a "refuge for men caught in addiction and to help them and their families experience personal healing and restored relationships."

"We have gone from just a discipleship type program. We are now actually a clinic," said founder and executive director Larry McKenna. "Addictions are just symptoms. We have been treating symptoms. Now we are starting dual diagnosis where we start to treat the cause too."

Based in Cleveland, The Jericho House has a desire to extend its reach into surrounding areas although they already serve men from counties all over North Georgia including Dawson, Forsyth, Habersham, Hall, Lumpkin and White.

Church of the Apostles in Dawsonville is one of several sponsoring churches, where the group regularly worships, as well as holds family recovery sessions and annual graduation ceremonies.

The one-year program can currently only accommodate 20 participants at a time.

The funds raised from the golf tournament will go directly to the existing property where they are expanding their dormitory.

"We will probably go to 35-40 clients when we expand," McKenna said.

"We hope to grow into another county. Probably by next year, once we build this dormitory and get that going we will probably expand-probably Dawson County."

The group currently leases what was formerly The Oar House restaurant in Dahlonega where they have begun their furniture building business, Jericho Furnishings.

"It's taking 100-year-old barns and tearing them down and using the wood. We already have a couple of decorators who have placed orders," McKenna said.

The business will serve the groups needs on many fronts.

"The furniture shop will give them work skills that will make them hirable," he said.

It is an opportunity for the men to gain new skill sets, as well as producing beautiful furnishings by repurposing old wood. McKenna said he would ultimately like to see the furniture company have a storefront in Dawsonville.

As foursomes made their way through the Chestatee course, golfers talked about getting to play and contribute.

"Truett Cathy said ‘It's better to build boys than mend men,' but if we need to mend men, it's nice to have Jericho House in our community," said Pastor Ralph Johnston.

This year's winning foursome consisted of Clint Emerson, Doug Stephens, Nathan Remmes and Matt Geyer.