What makes a charity golf tournament successful? These three elements: the quality of the course; the abundance of prizes; and the social value of the sponsor.
So the 32nd Weirton United Way event June 10 can be billed as a premier event. It could hardly be otherwise since it's played on the superlative fairways and greens of Williams Country Club. And a veteran committee puts in strenuous work to assure a high quality event for the patrons.
But the clincher for most golfers is this: It's a charity event. The benefactors are people in need. Most golfers are charity-minded. So this tournament traditionally draws a full field - as it should!
Renewing their platinum sponsorships for this year's tournament are Arcelor Mittal and Cross IT Services and Solutions.
It was 78 years ago, in 1935, when Weirton leaders founded the Weir-Cove Community Chest. The organization eventually became Weirton United Way.
Don Gianni Jr. of James White Construction Co., Freedom Way, Weirton, is this year's campaign chair. It's a long, tough job. He deserves our support.
Across the years, most of Weirton's business leaders volunteered to serve as campaign chair. Since 1962, these people have served in that position: Mike Starvaggi, J. Haydn Harris, Ernie Rothrock, G.W. Gould, Carl Hamill, William H.C. Webster, W.V. Archer, John A. Jones, W.F. Wilharm, John G. Redline, Robert D. Birch, George D. Sission, Donald R. Donell, Vincent Curtis, George Molnar, William S. Gallagher, C. Robert Cattrell, Robert Morgan Jr., Bob Keller, C.J. Vincent, Jack Robinson, Ed Neese, Vincent Kirpsak, Carl Valdiserri, Romie Castelli, David Gould, Dr. Tom Beynon, William Kiefer, Robert Turner, John Gilmore, David Robinson, James Bruhn, Lisa Conti, Richard Riederer, John Larch, Earl Davis, Donald Muhlenthaler, Craig Costello, Russ Grimm, Frank Tluchowski, C. William D'Alesio, Edward Scram, Cathy Ferrari, Chris Backel, Sharon Bogarad, David Minda, Dan Greathouse, Brian James, Kristin Bowman Cross, Scott E. Winwood and John C. Greco.
And not to be overlooked is the late James Flenniken, who in the beginning was the chief executive of the Weirton Chamber of Commerce with additional responsibilities of the Weirton United Way.
Remember that old magazine and TV illustration with the legend, "He ain't heavy, he's my brother"? That originated in Minneapolis for that city's 1928-30 community fund. Cleveland, Ohio, organized the first Community Chest in 1913.
I always liked the words of President John F. Kennedy about giving to United Way: "It will make your community a happier place; it will make you a happier person, and in the real sense that your community is your country - it will make our country a finer place in which to live. United, there is little we cannot do."
To help this year's campaign, the United Way's Dream Sports Package giveaway is being repeated by Tournament Director John Kirlangitis. A ticket costs $20. One winner will receive two tickets to each of these events: Pittsburgh Steelers football, Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball, West Virginia University football, University of Pittsburgh Panther football, and Ohio State University Buckeye football.
The drawing will take place at the United Way Golf Tournament June 10. Hope to see you there!