Last year, organizers of the Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic and its subsequent Purple Pride Banquet managed to distribute $4,500 each to the stadium committees at Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg South High School.
This year, they plan to top that amount, thanks to lessons learned from a year ago and increased sponsorships.
"The sponsorships have been tremendous,'' said committee chairman Steve Hussey of the two-event, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday at Woodridge Golf Club. "We've hardly had anybody tell us no.''
Organizers hit a winner by inviting former West Virginia University quarterback Pat White to be the featured guest. White plans to play golf both days as well as serve as the keynote speaker for the Purple Pride Banquet, set for 6 p.m. Sunday following the golf tournament.
As of Monday night, about 40 persons had registered to play in the tournament, which still is accepting players. Hussey would love to see that number increase. He said many of those planning to play are from out of the area and are playing because the tournament is part of the West Virginia Golf Association's Player of the Year competition. Among those who have signed up are Mike Koreski, Philip Reale, Tim Fisher, Travis Woodford and Trent Roush.
Don't let those names intimidate you, for this tournament has four separate divisions -low gross individual, low net individual, low gross 2-man best ball and low-net 2-man best ball.
Hussey calls the tournament a bargain. For $100, golfers get two rounds at Woodridge with cart and lunch both days. For another $50, they can purchase a ticket to the banquet. Banquet tickets for those who don't play golf are $100 each.
The proceeds are split between the Erickson All-Sports Facility's board of directors and the Stadium Field Improvement Committee. Members of both groups are represented on the tournament committee.
"I'm really confident we are going to increase the amount we will be able to give to our charities,'' Hussey said. "People really love this idea of the two groups working together.''
Hussey has done his best to promote the tournament. On Monday, he visited television, radio and newspaper outlets in an effort to further get out the word in hopes of increasing the number of local golfers.
He realizes this tournament is still in the beginning stages and needs to build up some repeat customers as well as attract newcomers on an annual basis.
Last year's guest speaker, Greenbrier owner Jim Justice, made some news on Monday when he announced Tiger Woods will participate in the Greenbrier Classic, his first appearance at the event.
Justice encouraged the tournament's sponsors to continue their efforts to promote golf and community causes and told them they had hit upon a winner.
And why not? Two days of golf with a good weather forecast. Good food. Sharing Pat White's company. All while raising money for a good cause.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org