From left to right, Lesley Litt and Lon Goodman of the TKE Brotherhood present the check to Leah Giammarva and her parents Mona and Jim.

Each year, the Temple Kol Emeth Brotherhood chooses a partner to co-benefit from its annual golf tournament, and for the 15th edition of the event – held May 6 at The City Club of Marietta – the Brotherhood chose 19-year-old Walton High School graduate Leah Giammarva.

At one time a very active young lady, Giammarva worked as a waitress to save money for her continuing education in the arts or photography. But on Sept. 21, 2011, life changed – a passenger when her friend lost control of the car in which they both rode, she suffered a serious and traumatic accident which left her paralyzed.

Leah, who sustained C7 complete spinal cord injury, today has no feeling or movement below her upper chest and has lost the fine motor skills in her hands. Only through hard work during rehabilitation at The Shepherd Center in Atlanta has she regained more movement and strength in her hands.

Through the tournament, Leah, her parents and the TKE Brotherhood aimed to raise awareness of the challenges and difficulties associated with spinal cord injuries, and between a tremendous turnout and excellent fundraising efforts, their goal was realized. This year, the Brotherhood also honored Lon Goodman with a lifetime membership in the Brotherhood in recognition of his 10 years of chairing the event.

Through the tournament, Leah, her parents and the TKE Brotherhood aimed to raise awareness of the challenges and difficulties associated with spinal cord injuries, and between a tremendous turnout and excellent fundraising efforts, their goal was realized.

This year, the Brotherhood also honored Lon Goodman with a lifetime membership in the Brotherhood in recognition of his 10 years of chairing the event.

Editor’s note: Temple Kol Emeth is a congregation located in East Cobb, known for its community outreach, social action and musical programs. TKE is the host of the annual Nibble & Noshfest on Labor Day Weekend, which brings together a cornucopia of ethnic foods, entertainment and fun (noshfest.com).