We are having our annual Beth Gephardt Memorial Pars for Paws Golf Tournament on Friday, Sept. 18, at the beautiful Edge Golf Course in Anderson.

In 2011, the Animal Protection League decided we wanted to have a golf tournament as one of our major fundraisers. Beth was on the Animal Protection League Board and was an avid golfer. I told her I didn’t play golf and didn’t know the first place to start. She gave me that look she was famous for and told me I owed her. She called some of her closest friends, formed a committee and gave us Pars for Paws. It has become a hugely successful annual event that Beth chaired.

We lost Beth to cancer on Nov. 15, 2013. In honor of Beth, it is now the Beth Gephardt Pars for Paws Memorial Golf Tournament.

Beth was many things to many people: a beloved and cherished wife, mother, grandmother and friend, an educator, child advocate, a dedicated and innovative board member for the Animal Protection League and an asset to any other cause she was dedicated to serving. Beth did more living with cancer than many people do when they are healthy. Family and friends watched her in awe.

Beth’s battle with cancer reminded us all of our mortality, that at any given moment life can change. It frightened many of us — made us aware of loss and living with loss. Beth dealt with cancer with grace, honor and courage. One of her friends said it best: “Beth taught us how to live and how to die.”

Beth chose to live in the positive. Pastor Rick Vale said at Beth’s life celebration that she danced with life. I think she would like that analogy. In my mind I see her as she passed, dancing and laughing her way to heaven. I miss my friend.

Participating in Pars for Paws is a way for us to continue to honor and remember Beth while raising money for the Animal Protection League to provide care for the homeless animals in our shelter. Lunch will be provided at noon; for $12, you can eat some great food and remember and honor Beth while supporting APL.

Or play golf for $300 per team.

Or be a sponsor — Cat’s Meow, $1,000 with logo and name on banner, logo on every table at lunch, company name in every golf cart, hole sponsor sign, tail wagger ticket for team; Puppy Love, $500 with logo and name on sponsorship banner, name on every table at lunch, company name in every golf cart; Cool Cat, $250 with name on banner, name on every table at lunch; Fido’s Friend, $150 with your sign on a hole on the course.

Register to play and for sponsorships opportunities at INAPL.ORG/PARSFORPAWS.

Come out Sept. 18 and help us celebrate our friend Beth and help to raise much needed funds for the animals at APL.

Thought for the week: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

Maleah Stringer is executive director of the Animal Protection League, 613 Dewey St., Anderson. She can be reached at 356-0900 or at maleahstringer@aol.com.

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