University Park, Pa. — Beautiful weather, generous sponsors and nearly 350 participants and celebrities combined to make the 14th Annual Coaches Vs. Cancer Celebrity Golf Tournament a rousing success as the Penn State CVC Program, under the leadership of coach Ed DeChellis, wrapped up a record breaking year of fund raising.
Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer will eclipse $185,000 in net funds raised for 2009-10, and could reach as high as the $200,000 plateau as donations continue to roll in from the "Coach’s Challenge" campaign through the end of the organization’s fiscal year in August. It marked the fourth straight year in which the organization has raised more than $170,000, placing it among the top eight CVC organizations in the country, as Penn State CVC approaches a total net of $1.5 million raised since its inception in 1995-96.
"It’s really remarkable the amount of support we have received from our sponsors, the community, former players and celebrities, and our committee," DeChellis said. "Particularly given the recent downturn in the economy, to raise a record number of funds for the American Cancer Society and to provide direct aid to families in our community says a great deal about the commitment of our sponsors and our community’s awareness of the devastating effects cancer can have."
Penn State CVC’s year-around program, which kicks off on September 23 with a Reverse Car Auction at Medlar Field and Lubrano Park also includes events such as the student run 5K Fun Run/Walk, silent auctions, Alumni Free Throw Challenge, CVC Day Jersey Raffle, and donations from benefactors and memorials, has netted more than $850,000 to fight cancer in the last five years alone. That number nearly doubles the total funds raised in the organization’s first 10 years of existence and dwarfs the $16,000 raised in its first year.
"The growth of our Coaches vs. Cancer organization over the past five years or so has been amazing," DeChellis said. "It’s really a testament to our terrific sponsors, our Golf Tournament Sponsor Sheetz, a community which supports the events and the committee and volunteers that plan and run things year-around now. We had a vision for where we wanted to take this thing and the impact it could have in the community and its very exciting to see it come to fruition and be supported in the way that it has."
On the course participants traded swings with 1,000-point Nittany Lion scorers Joe Crispin (2nd all-time), Jarrett Stephens (9th all-time), Titus Ivory (10th all-time), Dan Earl (15th all-time) and Mark DuMars (19th all-time), Nittany Lion football All-Americans Lydell Mitchell and Keith Conlin, Penn State coaches Galen Hall, Russ Rose and Char Morett, former Nittany Lion head coach Bruce Parkhill and his brother Barry (an All-American at Virginia) and Big Ten Network studio host Dave Revsine among others.
Four flights of golfers competed in morning and afternoon starts on the Penn State Blue and White Golf Courses. Posting winning scores on the day were the team of Rob Schmidt, Alan Abruzzo, George McMurtry, Scott Good and Dana Fritz with a net score of 54 on the Blue Course. The team of Doug Rothrock, Steve Schaaf, John Panizzo, Mike Lewis and Danny Morrissey won on a match of cards with a gross score of 53 on the Blue. The team of Steve Hamm, Mark Barnhart, Billy Kocher, Ted Brown and Jason Dambach claimed the net title on the White Course with a score of 51, while Tyler Hughes, Todd Cable, Steve Kirby, Courtney Confer and Jerry Fisher won with a gross score of 51 on the White.
In skills contests on the course, closest to the pin contests were won by Rob Fletcher (10′ on #5), Bob Mooney (3’6" on #7), Ed Washell (10′ 5"), and Tony Fruchtl (3′ 5") in the morning on the white and by Dough Rothrock (6′ 9" on #4), Jarred Magalich (9′ 6" on #8), Al Karosas (2′ 10" on #14) and Lydell Mitchell (4′ ½" on #17) on the Blue. In the afternoon flights Steve Flood (4′ 5" on #5), Jeff Fisher (10′ 5" on #7), Mark Barnhart (5′ 5" on #14) and Steve Hamm (1′ 3" on #16) won on the White while Dan Rallis (6′ 2" on #4), John Skorpan (3′ 4" on #8), Dan Rallis (4′ 8" on #14) and Craig Bubb (2′ 6" on #17) claimed prizes on the Blue.
The top 15 CVC organizations nationally raised a nearly $3.5 million combined last year. Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer through a close allegiance with the Bob Perks Cancer Assistance Fund (BCAF) uses much of the money raised to directly assist those affected by the disease in the Centre Region. Funds are also donated directly to the American Cancer Society. Last year these funds allowed the ACS to provide 685 services to local cancer patients including 35 visits to Hope Lodge, which provides a temporary home to cancer patients undergoing treatment. This year alone, 30 different families from Centre County have spent 826 nights at the Hope Lodge through the first eight months of the fiscal year, far surpassing the next closest county (Lycoming – 350 nights). The American Cancer Society is also the largest non-profit funder of cancer research, with over $30 million in research taking place in Pennsylvania each year, including three research grants totaling over $2.1 million at Penn State University.
To get involved as a sponsor or participant in Penn State Coaches vs. Cancer please visit CVCPENNSTATE.ORG or call (814) 330-3337.