The upcoming fundraiser for the Friends of the Animal Shelter, or FOTAS, will include a variety of events, including a round of golf, hot air balloon rides and a helicopter golf ball drop with a grand prize of $1,000.

The group will host its first Playing for the Pets Charity Golf Tournament on Sept. 22 at Houndslake Country Club, located at 901 Houndslake Drive.

The tournament is a four-person captain’s choice team event and will start at 8 a.m. The entry fee is $75 per person or $300 per team. The last day to register is Sept. 15.

The entry fee will include breakfast, lunch and appetizers and will cover greens and cart fees. It also includes a free Razor golf club, a gift bag, prizes and awards.

The largest prize is a free car from Honda of Aiken for the person who can make a hole-in-one on the designated par three.

FOTAS is advertising that Aiken’s first ever helicopter ball drop will occur after the tournament. Each golf ball will have a number on it that represents the purchaser. The purchaser whose ball lands in the hole first, or closest to the hole, will win $1,000.

Tickets for a golf ball are $10, and buyers do not have to play in the golf tournament or be present to win.

In addition to the other activities, FOTAS will be offering hot air balloon rides for $10. All proceeds from the events will go to benefit the Aiken County Animal Shelter.

For more information, call co-chairpersons Ross and Sandy Staiger at 803-226-9672 or email

“We’ve had a very good response so far from local businesses, and we really appreciate them stepping forward,” Ross said. “Now, all we need are some golfers.”

Derrek Asberry is the SRS beat reporter for the Aiken Standard and has been with the paper since June 2013. He is originally from Vidalia, Ga., and a graduate of Georgia Southern University. Follow him on Twitter @DerrekAsberry.