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1st Annual Richard G. Milbourne Memorial Golf Classic a huge success!

The first annual Richard G. Milbourne (RGM) Memorial Golf Classic was held November 8 at the Renditions Golf Course in Davidsonville, MD.  The tournament was Rick Easterling's (top photo) idea to honor his grandfather, Richard Milbourne.  Mr. Milbourne, an avid golfer, died in September 2002 at the age of 91.  All three of Mr. Milbourne’s children - Ruth Easterling (Rick’s mother), Joan Heinicke and Richard Milbourne - are affected by Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia, which was passed on by their mother Anna Harper Milbourne. The tournament was organized also as a benefit for the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation.

Rick, along with the rest of the extended Milbourne family, friends and Annette Lockwood, SPF board member, coordinated a wonderful event including the tournament, dinner, silent auction and raffles. The event raised $17,000 and led to an additional $5,000 donation as well (see Note below).

Tournament Winners

With a score of 57, the winners of the first annual RGM Golf Classic were Scott Taggert, Gary Carpenter, Sr., Scott Carpenter and Bob Neff, representing Ledo's Pizza of Crofton and State Farm of Crofton.  The President's Cup, a trophy Mr. Milbourne received in 1961 from winning a Suburban Trust Company tournament, was modified to include a base nameplate to list the annual winners of the RGM Classic.  Tom Regnall won the putting green contest run by Joe Heinicke. 

Planning and organizing a great event

Planning and preparation began in July.  Joe designed the event logo. Cindy Compher and her son, Ken, created the promotional brochure.  Joan collected and coordinated all of the registrations.  Committee members solicited event and hole sponsors as well as items for the silent auction.  Wendy Reed, from Long Island, donated the Welcome banner used for the golf tournament.

A convertible Volkswagen Beetle (thanks to efforts of Rick) was offered as the prize for a hole-in-one at a par 3 hole.  At another hole, Lee Heinicke and her mother, Eva Doyle, cheered golfers hoping for hole-in-one for a Myrtle Beach Trip prize.  Unfortunately, there were no winners although there was much excitement.. 

Raffle tickets were sold throughout the day for two grand prizes and many door prizes.  The first grand prize was half of the proceeds of $1,330 and Bob Letiecq walked away with $665.  The second grand prize was a Wheelbarrow of Cheer filled with bottles of wine and liquor and other party favors.  Rick obtained the wheelbarrow as a donation from Home Depot.    

Silent Auction items were on display throughout the day for viewing and bidding.  Items included autographed sports memorabilia, golf gift certificates and vacation packages among other items.  Ruth donated a week of time-share at Myrtle Beach that brought in $500.  A Kincade print brought in another $600.  Another popular item was an Ocean City Get-away at Joan and Jack Heinicke's beach home, with a winning bid of $250.  

Our thanks to the many sponsors, golfers and donors for making the first annual RGM Golf Classic a success.  The 2003 RGM Golf Classic, with 156 golfers, was the largest tournament held at Renditions with every golf cart in use.  Late registrations had to be turned away. 

Please contact Annette to get involved in the 2004 RGM for SPF Golf Classic.

Committee Members

Joan Heinicke, Jack Heinicke, Ruth Easterling, Rick Easterling, Randy Easterling, John Heinicke, Joe Heinicke, Sandie Heinicke, Lisa Lewald, Annette Lockwood, Gail Easterling, Wendy Easterling, Lee Heinicke, Cindy Compher, Kevin Compher, LuAnn Webb, John Webb, Mary Helen Cobb


Ledo Corporation, Safeway, US Golf Pass, Exxon Mobil Corporation, SunTrust Bank, Bedrock Foundations

Special Note - effort leads to additional support!

Mr. Milbourne's children went to school with the late Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets. Joan contacted Jim's wife and spoke to her about the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation and the golf tournament. Subsequently, a $5,000 contribution was made from the Jane Henson Foundation to the SPF, leading to total efforts of some $22,000 raised by the Milbourne family.

Honoring Richard G. Milbourne

Mr. Milbourne overcame an impoverished boyhood to become one of the District of Columbia's leading businessmen as founder and President of Acme Iron Works, Inc.  He took up golf as a teen, and it quickly became his life long passion. An accomplished golfer, he later became a member of the Seniors International Golf Association and played the sport all over the country and abroad. He played golf within months of his passing just before turning 93.

Mr. Milbourne was personally touched by HSP when his first wife Anna Harper began to have trouble walking. Mrs. Milbourne's brothers and sisters also had a similar difficulty with their legs. Not knowing what it was, they called it the "Harper Shuffle".

Doctors later told the family that the Harper Shuffle was an upper motor neuron disorder called Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. The condition unfortunately passed down to each of their three children Ruth Milbourne Easterling, Joan Milbourne Heinicke and Richard P. Milbourne.  It also appears to be now be affecting some of their children as well.

The inaugural Richard G. Milbourne Memorial Golf Classic was organized as a family event in tribute to a beloved father and grandfather who cared deeply for his family.


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