Swinging On The Greens To Pay Tribute To Junie Desporte - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Swinging On The Greens To Pay Tribute To Junie Desporte

With each swing on the greens, these golfers pay tribute to Junie Desporte, a man known for living life to the fullest.

"Personality meant everything, and he was one that everybody liked," says Sean Desporte, Junie's son.

"He never had a dark moment. He had fun all the time. He partied all the time. He never met a stranger," says Stacy Harrelson, Junie's son-in-law.

"Dad was very charismatic, very giving," says Angel Harrelson, Junie's daughter.

It's Junie Desporte's giving nature that inspired his family to hold the first annual Junie Desporte Life Tournament. Desporte died of cancer in January at the age of 59. But, his legacy to help others will live on through the Junie Desporte Foundation.  Its goal is to help coast families who can't afford cancer treatment get the help they need.

"We just want to help other people who aren't able to get the support we had," says Angel Harrelson.

The outpouring of support for the foundation was evident in how quickly golfers signed up to help those in need.

"As soon as Sean announced he was having this tournament, the waiting list started. It immediately sold out," says Joe Lancon, Junie's brother-in-law.

There were 128 golfers in all. And if Junie were around, there's no question as to how the game would be played.

"By his rules. He's got his own rules. We'd be having fun. We'd probably be winning the tournament,"  says Sean Desporte.

"He was such a strong person in the community, and I just want to keep that going so everyone can still feel him around us.  Just because we may not see him, he's still here," says Angel Desporte.

And his daughter says she has an idea of what Junie would think about today's turnout.

"He'd say this ain't to bad for an old fishman, not to shabby for a little fisherman," says Angel Harrelson.

The family said it would like thank all the sponsors, family and friends who supported today's event.

Money from the foundation will also be used to renovate and redecorate rooms of cancer patients at Gulfport Memorial.  The family hopes to help uplift the spirits of cancer patients as they go through treatment. Gulfport Memorial is where Junie received treatment during his battle with cancer.

The tournament continues tomorrow with tee-time kicking off at 1:00p.m. The family says the tournament will return next year.

By Krystal Allan

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