WILSON CO., Tenn. (WKRN) — What started as a birthday celebration years ago has evolved into an annual tradition that gives back to charity.

July 22nd will mark 16 years for the SW and Friends Charity Golf Classic.

“We started just a bunch of friends getting together from college just enjoying a game of golf,” said Steve Whitehouse. They started with 12 people originally and last year more than 160 golfers participated.

Steve Whitehouse, co-founder of the nonprofit SW & Friends, spoke with News 2’s Nickelle Smith about the upcoming event. Each year a different person or organization benefits from the golf tournament.

“We kind of catered to local individuals in need, other nonprofits in need, not only in Wilson County where we’re based out of, but also, the Middle Tennessee area,” said Whitehouse.

This year Leo Ethridge will benefit from the event.

“Leo is such an incredible remarkable kid with just an even more remarkable story,” he continued, “He was found abandoned in his home country of Liberia.”

Leo was recently adopted by a couple here in Middle Tennessee. He makes frequent trips to the doctor as they work to diagnose his condition, which was originally misdiagnosed.

Whitehouse said while the Golf Classic is no longer accepting participants, those who want to get involved can still donate to the cause. They’re also invited to the closing ceremony and luncheon.

For more information about SW & Friends and how to donate click on this link.