NGHS golf tournament honors community member

Published: Thursday, May 16, 2024

The inaugural Cheryl Shippey Memorial golf tournament, which teed off Tuesday, May 14, at Legends at Chateau Elan in Braselton amidst the rain and chill, raised more than $300,000. Formerly known as the Laurel Classic, this newly renamed event paid tribute to the late Cheryl Shippey, with funds raised going to expand the emergency department at Northeast Georgia Medical Center (NGMC) Braselton.         

Shippey, a long-time Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) Foundation employee, died in March 2023. She worked on NGMC Braselton’s initial fundraising campaign and was instrumental in the creation of the Laurel Classic golf tournament.

“After Cheryl’s passing, the community wanted a way to honor her dedication and passion to NGHS,” said Chris Bray, president and chief philanthropy officer of the NGHS Foundation. “Through the renaming of this tournament, her legacy is able to live on and she is able to continue making a difference in the community she loved.”

The expansion, set to finish in 2026, will double the size of NGMC Braselton’s emergency department, which has far outgrown its original capacity. Built in 2015 to handle 25,000 visits yearly, the existing department now sees over 60,000 patients each year.

“Expanding our emergency department capacity is crucial to fulfilling our mission of providing outstanding care for northeast Georgians when they need it most,” said Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton. “We’re deeply grateful to all the sponsors, volunteers and participants who made this fundraising event possible through their generous support.”

The tournament was presented in partnership with Jackson EMC, and drew 116 golfers who competed for the top spot. The winning team was from Mall of Georgia Ford, and included Rush Berry, Matt Pruitt, David Wehunt and Jeff Wessels.

“We are so thankful to those who came out and showed support, despite the rain,” said Kathy Fauscett, chairwoman of the golf committee. “This event, which honors Cheryl and her philanthropic spirit, is a true testament to our community’s unwavering support for our local hospital. This generosity makes a positive impact on the future of healthcare in our community.”

To donate or learn more about the NGHS Foundation, its events and other ways to support, visit

About NGHS Foundation

Founded in 1986, the Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation has contributed millions of dollars to health system improvements, complementary programs and partner organizations throughout the region. In an effort to further the mission of improving the health of the community in all that we do, donations to the Foundation help support innovation and enhancements at all four of Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s community hospitals, as well as many health initiatives of the system. It is truly through the generosity of friends and neighbors that many critical, life-saving projects, improvements and patient care services are available today. For more information, visit