ECU News Services

youtube twitter facebook rss feed

Golf tournament to raise funds to benefit ECU transplant surgery program

GREENVILLE   (Apr. 25, 2006)   —   The family of a man who benefited from a kidney transplant in 1998 plans to hold its first golf tournament to honor his memory and to raise funds for the East Carolina program that helped him on Saturday, April 29.

The First Gene Watson Golf Tournament to benefit the Transplant Surgery Fund at the Medical Foundation of ECU will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at the Hickory Meadows Golf Course in Whitakers. Watson built the course and opened it in 1978; today it is still owned and operated by his family.

Gene Watson received a kidney donated by his wife, Sarah, in April 1998. Their daughter, Lori Watson Strickland, is organizing the golf tournament.

"Due to my father's transplant, he was with us for four more years. My father knew first hand the benefits of organ transplantation," Strickland said. "He supported the transplant fund and what it could do to save people's lives. Now, I want to continue that support by hosting this golf tournament."

Dr. Carl Haisch, professor of surgery at the Brody School of Medicine, performed Gene Watson's kidney transplant and plans to be at the golf tournament. Strickland hopes for a full field of 96 golfers for the tournament. Golfers will pay $75 to participate with $60 of the entry fee going to the transplant fund for continued education and research for organ donation.

President George W. Bush has proclaimed April as National Donate a Life Month.

To register, contact Strickland at the Hickory Meadows Golf Course at 252-437-0591 or online at


Contact: Jeannine Manning Hutson | 252-744-2481