VIENNA -Once upon a time the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg was in danger of closing its doors.
Along came an individual named Richard Adams. Not only did he devise a plan to keep the organization afloat, but like a Pied Piper he attracted others to join in the cause.
Monday afternoon at Parkersburg Country Club marked the 17th annual Kids Golf Classic and accepting a check for a record $165,000 on behalf of the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg was their executive director, Ben Shuman.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Pete Harris looks on as teammate John
Fanta attempts a birdie putt during Monday’s 17th annual Kids Golf Classic at Parkersburg Country Club in Vienna.
"If it wasn't for this tournament, I don't know if the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg would be around," Shuman said. "It's thanks to United Bank that we even exist and are able to do the things we are able to do.
"When this tournament started, there was contemplation that the club may have to close - based on our financial picture. Thanks to United Bank's leadership, we're still here and we're thriving. And our kids have things that every other club in West Virginia is jealous of."
Contributing a large sum to the charity golf event were several platinum sponsors (Murray Sheet Metal/United Construction Company, The Ross Foundation, Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal Company, and United Bank) and gold sponsors (Mary Riccobene, Richard Adams, Chapman Printing Company, FIS and MetroNews Radio and Television Networks).
When tournament chairman Jim Hayhurst announced this year's contribution to the Boys and Girls Club of Parkersburg, he also stated that since the event began a total of $1.9 million has been raised.
"The first year we decided to do this, we thought $35,000 would probably be good and have a stretch goal of $45,000; we raised $65,000 that year," Hayhurst said. "It's hard to believe we keep increasing it. We seem to have new people who want to get involved. We lose some over the years for whatever the reason is, but we've had new people jumping on board and so far we've been able to keep in going.
"It's not a one-trick pony. There are a lot of people involved."
Several projects are currently in the works at the Boys and Girls Club. Under the Michael Phelps Foundation falls a project under the umbrella called "I am" which provides swimming lessons.
"From here to Maine, West Virginia has the highest rates of youth drowning incidents," Shuman said. "So it is a really critical thing for West Virginia as a population to make sure all of our kids have access to those swimming lessons."
Also on the docket, game room equipment such as the pool tables are going through an overhaul in terms of a revitalization. While a rock-climbing wall is a new addition indoors, outdoors, children are learning to garden.
"Through a grant we received, children will learn where their food comes from," said Shuman, who will soon be a father for the first time. His wife, Cate, is 9 1/2 months pregnant and due any day.
As for the winners where golf was concerned at the Kids Golf Classic, the foursome of Joe Parsons, Jared Parsons, Brian Johnson and Jeff Waybright, turned in a 59 in the scramble format and won Flight A. Both Flight A and B came down to a scorecard playoff. Winning in Flight B were Rick Adams, Paul Astorg, Todd Nemesek and Tim Matheny with a 63. In C Flight, Bill Leachman, Buzzie Dils, Les Rothwell and Dan Wharton Sr. claimed first place with a 65.