Sunday July 14th, 2024 8:40PM

Longtime NGHS Foundation team member's legacy lives on through Cheryl Shippey Memorial golf tournament

By Austin Eller News Director

Cheryl Shippey, a longtime Northeast Georgia Health System Foundation team member, passed away unexpectedly in March 2023. Now, in 2024, her contributions to the community and legacy live on through the Cheryl Shippey Memorial golf tournament.

The tournament, set for May 14 at The Legends golf course at Chateau Elan, was previously known as the Laurel Classic. It was renamed this year in recognition of Shippey. 

Chris Bray, President of the NGHS Foundation and Chief Philanthropy Officer at NGHS, said previous editions of the tournament gathered extensive funding for Northeast Georgia Medical Center Braselton's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Room expansion.

"Cheryl was really involved with the formation of the tournament," Bray said. "One of the many things Cheryl did very well was building strong relationships with the community members here. She was seen as a member of the NGMC Braselton staff, she was seen as a member of the Braselton community, and really took ownership of raising money for this hospital."

And while Bray said Shippey was great at raising money for the NGMC Braselton community, she was also a great person.

"She was a bright light," Bray said. "She had a great laugh. She always lightened up the room. Whether it was her purposely making some kind of funny comment, or just Cheryl being Cheryl, making the room laugh."

Shippey was with the NGHS Foundation for about 10 years. She was even known to take time out of her day to comfort patients.

"She would look out for folks when they came into the hospital," Anthony Williamson, president of NGMC Braselton said. "She would go up to their rooms and greet them and spend time with them, and bring blankets to them. She just really was a strong supporter of the health system and we miss her a lot."

Angela Gary, executive director of trauma, emergency & observation and EMS services at NGHS, said she believed it was Shippey's mission to serve the community.

"I just always remember how she made you feel, and I think that meant everything to people," Gary said. "What I've also noticed is that when I am at functions, the donors really miss her."

Williamson said the 2024 edition of the tournament will be raising funds for the expansion of the NGMC Braselton's Emergency Department.

"We've got a major construction project going on here," Williamson said. "The emergency department is built to see about 25,000 to 30,000 visits a year, and we're now seeing about 60,000 visits."

Bray said it was a natural fit to rename the Laurel Classic in honor of Shippey, due to its ongoing nature.

"We wanted to do something to recognize and remember her by," Bray said. "When Cheryl passed, it wasn't days that had gone by before several people in this community wanted to do something in honor of Cheryl."

The event will be held on May 14 at The Legends at Chateau Elan at 5473 Legends Drive, Braselton. Player registration will be held at 8 a.m., with a Shotgun start at 10 a.m. and 19th hole reception at 4 p.m.

More information about the Cheryl Shippey Memorial golf tournament, including sponsorship opportunities, can be found here.

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  • Associated Tags: Northeast Georgia Health System, NGMC, NGHS, Cheryl Shippey
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