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Northwest News

Countryway Golf, Church of Our Savior fight hunger


Published:   |   Updated: August 27, 2013 at 01:01 PM

It isn’t often that you walk into a pro shop at a golf club and bring in cans of food rather than golf equipment.

The first thing you see when you walk into the pro shop at the Countryway Golf Club is a box that accepts donations for local food shelters.

Carol Cousins and the Lutheran Church of Our Savior are a driving force behind that and use the club, as well as any other means, to support the Kaye Prox Food Bank, which provides food to individuals, families and the elderly.

The food bank serves most areas in the Northwest Tampa area – Town ‘N Country (33614, 33615, 33634), Northdale (33624), Citrus Park (33625), and Westchase (33626; 33635) – and is looking to expand.

Cousins has been a member of her church for years and also is involved with other local organizations, but the food bank and the church are very important to her. She wants to feed all of the homeless and works tirelessly to achieve that goal.

“We provide all the services we can at the church,” Cousins said. “We do what we can. I have been at this church for a long time now and I love worshipping there for all the things they do. It’s a special place and I love being a part of sharing my faith there.”

Part of the church’s mission is outreach: People go out into the community to help where needed.

Cousins lives right off the Countryway Golf Course and plays once a week at 6:30 a.m. She loves the game, and was happy when Countryway took such an interest in the food bank.

“I have had a great life and want to give something back,” Cousins said. “Working with the church and the homeless has been rewarding. It’s up to me to share my faith and do what I can and everyone has been so kind.”

Cousins and her church have gotten involved with other local churches, including Incarnation Catholic Church, the First Reformed Church of Tampa, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church and Wellspring United Methodist Church. All are in northwest Hillsborough County. The churches collaborate to help the homeless and the needy. They also supply backpacks for children.

She is helping to organize a golf tournament, a “Fun(d)” Raiser at Countryway Sept. 21. There are still tee times and sponsorships available.

“Everybody laughed at us when we started trying to raise money and we had to reach out to a lot of people, but we have made an impact,” Cousins said. “People know about us and what we are trying to do. Helping people is a win-win situation for everybody.”

When Bill Sherlock, Countryway’s general manager, wanted to help out and suggested a pantry basket, Cousins jumped at the chance.

“People want to make a difference,” Cousins said. “If we can just put food on someone’s table, we can at least start to lead the way. We have a lot of the same people (in the golf tournament) and we need some new faces. We want people to understand that there are people who need things and want to make a difference.”

Cousins said she doesn’t consider her hard work to be work at all. “We are just doing God’s work with our hands,” she said.

For information on the Kaye Prox Food Bank, visit www.kayeproxfoodbank.org. The Lutheran Church of Our Savior is at 8401 W. Hillsborough Ave.

For information on the LCOS Golf Tournament, call Carol Cousins at (813) 855-7099.

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