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triple swing moves to jcc
by Audrey Hanes, photo by Amy Long

Later this month, hundreds will participate in a three-day dinner, dancing and golf tournament event for St. Bernards Foundation’s annual Triple Swing, which will raise funds for St. Bernards Medical Center’s growing Heartcare Center.

The event’s 2017 chair, Justin Parkey, has been involved with the St. Bernards Advocates since 2012. He is passionate about the mission of the St. Bernards Foundation, which uses funding, volunteerism and community awareness to support and enhance St. Bernards Medical Center’s mission to provide Christ-like healing to the community through education, treatment and health services.

“Several people at my firm were involved with the advocates and encouraged me to join,” said Parkey, who practices labor and employment law, insurance defense and commercial litigation with Waddell, Cole & Jones. “One of the great things about the advocates is that you learn all of the new, cutting-edge services and procedures being offered at the hospital and you get to hear the stories of how St. Bernards is impacting our community. It motivates you to want to help out and be a part of St. Bernards’ mission any way you can.”  

After serving on the Triple Swing silent auction committee and chairing the raffle committee in previous years, Parkey was excited to take on the role of event chair in 2017.

“Triple Swing is the advocates’ biggest fundraising event and, as chair, it’s fun to bring all these different corners of the Jonesboro community together with a common goal of raising as much money as possible for such a great organization,” he said.

Just as it does each year, the 2017 Triple Swing will begin with a dinner and dance. On June 24, more than 400 guests will enjoy great food, impressive auctions and prizes and entertainment by The Soul Shockers at St. Bernards Auditorium.

The following two days, supporters will take to a new location for the annual golf tournament to raise money for the St. Bernards Heartcare Center, the 2017 beneficiary of the event. This year, the V.I.P. Golf Classic will take place at Jonesboro Country Club (JCC) on June 25 and is held exclusively for platinum, gold and silver sponsors. Then, on June 26, more than 50 four-player teams will play in a scramble format in the Golf Classic and will have a choice of a morning or afternoon flight.

The tournament includes green and cart fees, a tee gift, a commemorative team photo, breakfast, a luncheon and on-course refreshments and snacks. There will be prizes for first, second and third place foursomes in both morning and afternoon golf groups and for the hole-in-one contest. All players are eligible for the Golf Ball Drop, which provides a chance to win a $500 VISA gift card.

“I think the move to the JCC will be an exciting change for this year’s event,” said Parkey. “Jonesboro is blessed with several fantastic golf courses, and I think the Triple Swing golfers will enjoy mixing it up a bit this year with the move to the JCC. Another exciting change for this year is the addition of Rob Akins from the PGA. … Rob Akins has been consistently voted one of the ‘Top 50 Golf Instructors in America’ and has been recognized by popular golf publications including Golf Digest and Golf Magazine. We will be lucky to have him at our event.”

John McPike, who is a St. Bernards Advocates board member with Parkey and is currently serving as Triple Swing’s 2017 golf chair, is excited about the changes to the V.I.P. event, particularly the experience local golfers will get to have with Akins.

“In the past, we have paired teams up with V.I.Ps for a five-man scramble,” said McPike. “This year, we have invited Rob Akins to come out and hold a short game clinic for the VIP teams. They will also receive some one-on-one coaching from Rob and club fitting of the Cleveland Wedge that they will receive as a token of appreciation for their level of support. We will still have several of the same components that we have had in the past and will strive to put on a premier event for our players.” 

McPike has been a St. Bernards Advocate for almost 10 years. Like Parkey, once he heard how the foundation’s volunteer group worked to further the mission of St. Bernards Medical Center, he wanted to get involved.

“I felt like it was a great organization that supports St. Bernards and (its) many programs that involve and benefit the community,” said McPike, a vice president for First Security Bank. “It was important for me to take on this leadership role because St. Bernards plays such a huge role in the overall quality of life here in Jonesboro. By having this event every year, it’s a great way for us to give back to them and support them in their mission.”

Each year, the event selects a different beneficiary as the recipient of its proceeds. Over the years, as those different areas of St. Bernards Medical Center have come to be and have grown, Parkey says the advocates have really been able to see their work make a difference.

“Several years ago, all of the money raised went to the St. Bernards NICU,” said Parkey. “The NICU has been such a blessing to so many families who no longer have to drive to Memphis or Little Rock to receive care for their little ones. Last year, the money raised at the Triple Swing went to the St. Bernards Villa. The Villa’s Memory Care Center has been a huge blessing for those with loved ones with Alzheimer’s Disease or dementia. Having the Villa here in Jonesboro allows families to keep their loved closer to home. 

“This year, the money raised at Triple Swing will benefit the expansion and renovation of the St. Bernards Heartcare Center. Each day, the St. Bernards team of intensive care doctors, cardiologists, heart surgeons, nurses and other healthcare professionals treats patients suffering from all forms of cardiac disease, from common heart problems to life-threatening heart conditions. The care provided at the St. Bernards Heartcare Center is cutting edge:  St. Bernards was the first hospital in Arkansas to offer the world’s smallest pacemaker for patients with bradycardia, was the first hospital in Arkansas to offer the Watchman LAAC Implant and was the only hospital in Arkansas to receive the highest rating from the American Heart Association for its treatment of patients suffering from STEMI heart attacks. When the renovation and expansion is completed, the St. Bernards Heartcare Center will house four state-of-the-art cardiac cath and vascular laboratories and two electrophysiology labs, one of which is a combination EP/hybrid lab. Yet again, St. Bernards is leading the way and continuing to up the level of care being provided to its patients.”

That effectiveness is one reason the foundation’s volunteers are so passionate about how they donate their time and about making Triple Swing such a success.

“We have a great group of volunteers, and without them this would not be possible,” said McPike. “All of this is possible through the generous support of our friends, grateful patients, business partners, volunteers and staff, all of whom choose to support St. Bernards with their time, energy and resources.”

For more information about 2017 Triple Swing, visit stbernardsfoundation.org, call (870) 207-2502 or email dhousley@sbrmc.org.