Hayden’s Journey tourney a success


By Adam Capps - [email protected]



Pictured is the winning team of the second flight. From left are: Reid Darden, Hayden Lanier, Jamie Williams and Eddie Gray, with Natalie Zavareei in the center.


Alan O’Neal, Gene Parsons and Andy Darden preparing a feast for the golfers.


The local community has been known to rally with each other in times of need. Hayden’s Journey Golf Tournament proved to be no different, as it was once again a tremendous success.

Hayden’s Journey of Inspiration held their 5th annual golf tournament on April 30, at Coharie Country Club in Clinton.

Cool weather and no rain provided a truly beautiful backdrop for a most enjoyable day on the pristine and competitive course, according to tournament coordinators.

Golfing for Hayden’s Journey of Inspiration is fast becoming a classic event in Sampson County, thanks to the inspiration and creativity over five years ago of young and aspiring Golfer, Reid Darden. This golfing event, the brain-child of Reid, was created as his Eagle Scout project, to provide funding for the HJI Foundation’s three completely furnished apartments. These units are free of charge to the families of children with cancer as long as they should need them while receiving life-saving treatments at Duke University Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Center in Durham.

An unprecedented 34 four-man teams of golfers required an 8:30 a.m. tee time as a well as a 1 p.m. tee time. All were staged and coordinated precisely by PGA Professional Dickie Walters.

Prior to the event, an all-time crowd-pleasing favorite, Bens’ Original Delicious Sausage Dogs with all the necessary trimmings were again provided by HJI chef Ben Warrick and daughter, Leigh, who are original and long time supporters of the HJI Foundation.

With 20 teams playing in the morning and 14 teams playing in the afternoon, all enjoyed a fantastic luncheon of Andy Darden’s grilled marinated pork loin sandwiches, barbecue beans, cole slaw and potato salad. This is quickly becoming the mainstay of this most anticipated golf tournament. Darden was assisted by Gene Parsons and Alan O’Neal, expert chefs in their own right.

The first flight was won by Randy Barefoot, Zeke McCullen, Jackie Parrish and Jimmy Raynor, with a score of 55. Second place went to Trent Mitchell, Dwain Jackson, Amy Wooten and Glenn Best, and third went to Rick Reece, Bill Dunlap, Randy Wiggans and Jeffrey Spell.

Second flight winners were Reid Darden, Hayden Lanier, Jamie Williams and Eddie Gray. Billy White, Larry Wells, Grant Sikes and Phil Ellis finished second and Ben Parham, Howell Edwards, Larry Baggett and Dwight Spell finished third in the second flight.

First place in the third flight went to Christopher Naylor, Henry Faison, Plato Faison and Reid Cumbo. Second place went to Dan Gurley, Randy Pittman, Robin Albertson and Joel Britt.

David Hobson, Jana Hobson, Kelly Williams and Brandon Williams finished third.

Haydens’s dad, Hassan Zavareei, was pleased with the event.

“Over the years, the Sampson County community has been the heart and soul of Hayden’s Journey of Inspiration,” he said. “The community helped our family during and incredibly tough time and has stepped up again and again. We are humbled by this consistent display of generosity and compassion.”

Hayden knows the power of the community, and commented on the family’s appreciation.

“Coming down and growing up in Clinton always felt like home to me because of the wonderful people that my grandparents know,” said Zavareei. “When I got sick, it felt even more like home. Each time, I’m there, I’m always touched by the great things Clinton people do and say. It’s like a big family. HJI is such a huge part of me and to have such amazing support … it is overwhelming. I truly hope I can carry this torch for all the other families and kids who will walk down this same path. It would not be possible without the selfless people of Clinton and Sampson County.”

The foundation released a statement as follows:

“On behalf of the HJI Foundation, we greatly appreciate the undying efforts of Andy, Leslie, Reid, Matt and the entire Darden extended family, the most outstanding HJI Golf Tourney Committee, PGA Pro Dickie Walters and Coharie CC Staff, the many, many volunteers, the advertising and publicity, the numerous assistants and most of all, the incredibly amazing support of our Corporate Sponsors, the many Donors and Contributors that make the Annual HJI Golf Tournament event a reality.”

For more information, go to hjifoundation.org. or search Hayden Zavareei to read her story.

Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585.

By Adam Capps

[email protected]

Pictured is the winning team of the second flight. From left are: Reid Darden, Hayden Lanier, Jamie Williams and Eddie Gray, with Natalie Zavareei in the center.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_FullSizeRender-1-.jpgPictured is the winning team of the second flight. From left are: Reid Darden, Hayden Lanier, Jamie Williams and Eddie Gray, with Natalie Zavareei in the center.

Alan O’Neal, Gene Parsons and Andy Darden preparing a feast for the golfers.
http://clintonnc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_FullSizeRender.jpgAlan O’Neal, Gene Parsons and Andy Darden preparing a feast for the golfers.

Reach Adam Capps at 910-214-9585.

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