by Mike Dudurich
In any endeavor, capitalizing on momentum is always a good thing. Whether it’s a couple good holes that lead to a good round of golf or a good week in the office that leads to an uptick in the bottom line, keeping a grip on that momentum, whenever it happens is always big. And that’s where the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Golf Classic is as it heads toward the 26th playing of the event July 17 at Latrobe County Club.
The annual event is coming off one of its best years ever, and celebrated that by presenting the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation with a check for $5,000 on the GLLV’s weekly radio show on WCNS 1480, Good Morning Greater Latrobe. The show is hosted by chamber president David Martin and airs each Friday at 8 am.
“The outing was nearly dead in the water,” said Jerry Supko, SVP of Commercial Bank and chairman of the event. “With the re-branding of the chamber, things changed last year. For the first time in seven or eight years, we made some money. The community really stepped up, and it was nearly sold out.”
Jessica Golden, the director of development for the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education Foundation, expressed great appreciation for the gift. “It’s a tremendous honor and boost for our effort to boost the education pro-gram for our students,” Golden said. “It’s great for us to be a partner and this is a natural fit.”
The 2015 golf outing will be held Friday, July 17 at Latrobe Country Club and, once again, Arnold Palmer will be the honorary chairman.
“We always enjoy welcoming to Latrobe Country Club the golfers who support such fine organizations as the Latrobe Laurel-Valley Community Chamber of Commerce through these outings, and hope that they will have a great day,” Palmer said.
While the check presentation from 2014 capped that event, it also served as a kickoff for this year.
“We’re absolutely hoping to build on that momentum and it seems like we are,” Supko said. “We have four major sponsors, and we’re almost halfway sold out of the field of 120.” Registra-tion that day will be at 10 with a shotgun start at 11:15 a.m. The round will be followed by a happy hour and dinner buffet. Cost is $200 per golfer.
Proceeds will benefit the Chamber’s local education programs and the work of the Greater Latrobe Partners in Education foundation. An addition to the committee for this year’s outing is Katie Miller, who was a three-time PIAA girl’s golf champion at Hempfield Area High School (1999, 2000 and 2002). She went on to become a standout for the University of North Carolina golf team. She continues to play the game at a high level and also manages the Latrobe Dairy Queen.
“I love getting involved with events like this,” she said. “I volunteer for the First Tee in Pittsburgh, we’ve gotten involved in a big way with Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. I’ve gotten to know David (Martin) and the GLLV staff, and it’s very exciting.” Miller hopes to be able to play in the event July 17.
“I can’t wait!” said David Martin, GLLV Chamber president. “This has quickly become a very special event for GLLV members, and it highlights the chamber’s commitment educational programs in our local schools.”