Terry Clodfelter, who lost an eye to injury as a child, dared his friends to wear bandanas while playing golf after being chastised for his poor performance on the links. That was 17 years ago and the beginning of the One-Eyed Golf Tournament held every summer in Greencastle. Clodfelter recently brought a check for $15,500 to help cover the cost of the camera, paid for in part by donations from the annual tournament.
"That first year, there were just a few guys and they wore bandanas to simulate being blind," said Clodfelter, known as Clody. The event has grown in size -- and in donations -- over the years with more than 40 teams of four players now participating.
"We started playing together every year and then one of the guys suggested raising money for Riley. The first few years we'd raise a few hundred dollars, but the last few years, we've raised about $10,000 every year," Clody said.
A recent check delivered to the clinic for $15,500 will be used to offset costs of a new camera that can take pictures of the back of the eye. The camera can photograph the eyes of patients as young as 2 years old, making their visits to the ophthalmologist less stressful.
"We appreciate Clody and his associates who help plan the event, and their many efforts over the years. This camera is one of the most advanced pieces of digital imaging available to us," notes David A. Plager, M.D., professor of ophthalmology and director of the Pediatric Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children. The high-resolution camera allows technicians and doctors to photograph the back of the eye; the digital image can be viewed on a computer monitor and also can be printed.
"We can view the images immediately and begin our diagnosis," Dr. Plager said. The camera is beneficial to young patients because it allows the image to be captured without dilating the eyes.
"It's easy, quick and painless, which helps with young children," Dr. Plager said of the camera's use. "This is one of the best diagnostic tools we've acquired."
After viewing the camera, Clody said he was pleased with the purchase and glad to be able to help the children who come through the pediatric ophthalmology clinic.
"We started out funding education and research and recently we decided to put the money away until we determined what we really needed -- and this is it," he said of the camera.
Earlier fundraising initiatives launched a telemedicine laboratory that gave rise to the Orbis telemedicine program called Cyber-sight. The golfing group also has helped fund a bank of eyeglasses and contact lenses for children who have undergone cataract surgery and cannot afford glasses. Proceeds also have funded numerous pediatric ophthalmology research projects, Plager said.
Already planning for this year's golf tournament on Sept. 11, Clody said he gets significant support from Greencastle merchants and residents who look forward to the tournament. The tournament is held at Old Hickory Golf Course on Ind. 231; dinner and award presentations are held at 5 p.m. in the Moose Lodge in Greencastle. For more information, or to register for the event, visit http://www.clodysoneeyegolf.com/. The cost is $200 per team or $50 for an individual.