On Saturday, Oct. 27, the “Loops of Love” fundraiser tournament took place at Buck’s Billiards in Cary, N.C. It was an 8-Ball scotch doubles tournament, featuring two brackets. The tournament was held to benefit longtime Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill APA member, Shirley Lee.  Shirley began playing APA in 2002 and has participated on three teams at the APA National Team Championships in both the Open 8-Ball and Ladies 8-Ball divisions.  Shirley’s husband, Steve Lee, is the founder of Raleigh Billiard Academy, and has created a way to provide a recognized form of instruction to poolplayers of all skill levels. Shirley is a Recognized BCA Instructor and joined the Raleigh Billiard Academy Staff in 2007.

Four years ago, Shirley was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In July of 2012, Shirley had limited options for treatment locally, and therefore began traveling back and forth weekly for treatments at Sara Cannon Hospital in Tennessee.  Shirley talked about her situation to her Thursday night APA teammates and friends at Buck’s Billiards. Upon realizing how costly this was going to be for Shirley, teammate Tanya Helms decided to do something to help and was the mastermind behind creating the “Loops of Love” fundraising event.

The event started with Shirley speaking and thanking everyone for their participation and support.  Shirley stated, “Today is so powerful because of what I always knew; our family and friends would lift us up, give us support and fill our hearts to overflowing. That is being demonstrated here today, beyond what words can describe! There is no price you can put on the value of the love of others and Steve and I want to say thank you and God bless you. We want you to know that your support over the last four years and now this, is overwhelming and it’s a true demonstration of how we should all love one another… thank you.”

A break contest was held prior to the start of the tournament with a $1 entry fee. A total of 47 teams participated in the tournament in two different scotch doubles brackets—one bracket for combined skill levels of 11-12 and one bracket for combined skill levels of 10 and under.  The tournament was run very efficiently by APA employee, Jeff Howell, who volunteered his time to the event.

In addition to the tournament, there were lots of giveaways, as well as a few silent auctions and a raffle. Prizes included a Viking Cue (donated by D&D Cue Repair), a Tornado Cue (donated by APA) and a Bud Light pool light (donated by Longbranch).  In addition, all of the other local pool halls donated gift cards and/or money to the cause. 

Steve Freeman and Travis Jessup won the skill level 11-12 bracket, with Gwen Lukach and George Crawford finishing as Runners-Up. In the skill level 10 and under bracket, Shay Binion and Bobbie Raynor finished as champions and Jason Seidel and Leslie Boyd were the Runners-Up. All four teams donated the majority of their winnings back to the cause. Some of the 3rd Place finishers donated their winnings back as well.

The tournament was a huge success, raising $4,300 for Shirley Lee and her fight against ovarian cancer. The tournament had many touching moments throughout the day and it was wonderful to see the APA family come together to support another APA member and show her how much she’s loved.   

For more information on the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill APA visit apa-raleigh.com.

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