When John H. Kauffman, the president and CEO of Kauffman Tires Inc., was first diagnosed with cancer in 2009, he traveled from his home in Dunwoody to Houston, Texas, for treatment.

An avid golfer and longtime member of the Dunwoody Country Club, Kauffman decided he wanted to receive treatment closer to where he lived and also to support those doing the research and treatment in Georgia. He convinced the senior men of the club, also known as the Champions Golf Association, to begin raising funds for the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, according to David Anderson, chair of the John H. Kauffman Fundraising Initiatives Benefiting the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University at the Dunwoody Country Club.

From left, Dr. John Pattaras, Chief of Urology at Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital; John Mills and Ed Kennedy, members of the Dunwoody Champions Golf Association; Martin Sanda, Chairman and Professor of Urology, Emory University School of Medicine; and Melissa Childress, Vice President of Cancer Services, Winship Cancer Institute. (Special)

“Our senior men have raised funds for prostate cancer for more than 20 years. Back in 2009, John Kauffman, who was a neighbor and very good friend, asked us to raise funds solely for Winship,” said Anderson.

After Kauffman died in 2013, the Champions Golf Association wanted to ensure his legacy lived on and unanimously agreed to name all prostate cancer fundraising activities in his name.

This year the senior men raised $220,000, which will be matched dollar for dollar by Winship for a total of $440,000. The money goes toward prostate cancer research, Anderson said. Last year, the senior men raised more than $215,000. Activities to raise the money include golf outings and a major May reception with silent and live auctions.

Next year will be the senior men’s 22nd year of fundraising, Anderson said. Some 20 men and women comprise a voluntary committee dedicated to fundraising to find a cure for prostate cancer, the most common cancer in American men.

“Fundraising proceeds are used solely as seed capital for innovative research by oncologists and scientists working at Winship, the first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center in the state,” said Anderson.

When research projects prove successful, applications are submitted for multi-million-dollar federal or non-federal grants that include support for clinical trials to advance patient care.

“The funds we give them helps them raise more money,” Anderson said.

Martin G. Sanda, Professor and Chair of Urology at Emory and Director of Winship’s Prostate Cancer Program, said support from the senior men of Dunwoody Country Club through their Kauffman fundraising initiatives has been “absolutely transformative” in advancing prostate cancer detection and treatment.

“Pilot studies funded by the Dunwoody senior men have already led to larger federal grants that support the testing of new approaches to detecting and managing prostate cancer at Winship locations throughout Atlanta,” Sanda said in a written statement.

The Dunwoody Country Club is located in Sandy Springs at the Dunwoody border. About 50 percent of members are from Sandy Springs and 50 percent from Dunwoody, said Anderson, who has lived in Dunwoody for 40 years and been a member of the country club for 30 years.

The club is currently expanding its fitness center that is expected to take about two years to complete, according to Anderson.

The club will soon tear down its current “cart barn,” where members park their golf carts, to build a new structure that will include a new cart barn and fitness center on the second floor. A temporary cart barn structure will be built until the new facility is finished, he said.

“This is the result of a member survey in which members said they wanted more equipment and classes,” he said. “You will be able to do everything when the project is completed.”

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.