UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The 16th Annual Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament sponsored by Sheetz netted funds raised of more than $105,000 to fight cancer in its first season under the direction of Penn State head coach Patrick Chambers, making it one of the most successful in the organization's history.
"I'm so proud of our committee and our sponsors and volunteers for putting on and supporting such an amazing event," Chambers said. "Coach Parkhill started it and Jerry Dunn and Ed DeChellis really kept it going doing a great job of raising close to two million dollars. It's a class event, so there is some pressure on you to keep it going, to keep it fresh and make sure you are out front so everyone knows I'm going to be involved. I'm in this for the long haul. It's important to me.
The signature event of Coaches vs. Cancer-Penn State's year-around program, held June 1 at the Penn State golf courses, featured nearly 300 golfers, nine Penn State head coaches, captains from across the Penn State sporting landscape and the State College community and generous and longtime sponsors such as HRI, Inc., G.M. McCrossin, Inc. and Mount Nittany Health System. The funds raised from the on-course golf event combined with nearly $20,000 raised through the CVC Coach's Challenge and more than $12,000 raised through the silent auction at the Thursday night Captain/Sponsor Reception have put the organization's fund raising for the 2011-12 campaign on pace to eclipse the $200,000 mark for the third-straight year.
CVC-Penn State, which ranked sixth among national CVC organizations in funds raised last year, still has some events, including the State College Brew Expo (Aug. 11 at Tussey Mountain), still remaining before the fiscal period ends August 31. Funds are raised for the American Cancer Society and a portion are distributed locally through the Bob Perks Fund.
"Once this is all over, we are going back to the drawing board in one of those post committee meetings and say 'how can we make it better; how can we improve it; who can we reach out to; how can we get other celebrities and captains involved and more sponsorships,'" Chambers said.
Coaches vs. Cancer-Penn State's estimated fund raising total for the 2011-12 fiscal year will once again place it among the top CVC fund raisers in the nation and will bring its total funds raised to more than $1.9 million since its inception in 1995-96.
"The committee and volunteers did a great job of putting on two days of terrific events and making Coach Chambers first Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament a very memorable and successful one," said CVC-Penn State committee co-chairman Kent Wible. "We had a lot of fun and a lot of laughs despite the weather. More importantly, we raised a great deal of money and awareness for a cause we all deeply believe in, which is why everyone, from the sponsors and participants to the volunteers and committee, is so dedicated to this organization."
The Golf Tournament was part of CVC-Penn State's year-round program of fund raising efforts which includes the Reverse Car Auction, the student run 5K Fun Run/Walk, CVC "Band Together" Day, State College Brew Expo and donations from benefactors and memorials. CVC-Penn State has netted more than $1.1 million to fight cancer in the last six years alone and has donated more than $190,000 to the Bob Perks Fund, now in its sixth year providing assistance in the Centre Region.
"I would like to thank our sponsors, particularly lead sponsor Sheetz, Inc., our nearly 300 golfers and all the team captains, volunteers and committee members for once again helping to put on one of the top events in central Pennsylvania," CVC-Penn State committee co-chairman Al Karosas said. "Their loyalty, dedication and commitment to the cause and this event is a great testament to the strength of our community and is what allows the Coaches vs. Cancer Golf Tournament to continue to be a top notch event year after year and for the organization to continue to make a difference in the fight against cancer year-round."
Among the many on-course contest winners and group winners on the day was Nittany Lion football coach Bill O'Brien who claimed second-place for closest to the pin on the fifth hole on the Penn State White Course. Nittany Lions football assistant head coach Stan Hixon claimed top honors for closest to the pin on the 17th hole on the Blue Course and former Nittany Lion basketball head coach Bruce Parkhill claimed closest to the pin honors on the seventh hole on the White Course.
Steve Jones "The Voice of the Nittany Lions" and former Nittany Lion basketball standout Glenn Sekunda helped propel their teams to winning scores in the morning rounds on the Blue Course. Nittany Lion men's soccer coach Bob Warming and former Penn State football standout Scott Fitzkee helped their teams to victory in afternoon flights on the White Course, while Penn State golf coach Greg Nye and former Nittany Lion and current Pittsburgh Steelers punter Jeremy Kapinos led their teams to wins in the afternoon on the Blue Course.