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Annual Golf Classic reaches another milestone in student aid

A visit from “the world’s most sought after golf trick-shot performer” at the Penn College Foundation’s 33rd Annual Golf Classic provided another record-setting year in scholarship support for Pennsylvania College of Technology students.

The June 17 event, featuring Chuck “The Hit Man” Hiter, was the most successful in college history – topping $125,000 in revenue.

Compass Group North America was the title sponsor for the tournament, the net proceeds of which benefit the Penn College Foundation Golf Classic Scholarship. Fisher Mining Co. was the tournament sponsor, and a number of other businesses generously signed on as additional sponsors.

“I always look forward to doing any kind of outing,” said Hiter, who treated players and guests to an exhibition on the Williamsport Country Club’s first tee. “But with what this college does on the vocational side, awarding technical degrees for which there’s definitely a great need, it’s especially a pleasure to support a benefit like this.”

Trick shot performer Chuck “The Hit Man” Hiter dazzles a Williamsport Country Club crowd by maintaining his balance – and his eye on the ball – from a precarious perch.
Trick shot performer Chuck “The Hit Man” Hiter dazzles a Williamsport Country Club crowd by maintaining his balance – and his eye on the ball – from a precarious perch.

Drafted by the Oakland A’s out of high school, he turned from baseball to golf after a shoulder injury. Hiter is the only golf entertainer to appear on ESPN’s “Top 10 Plays of the Day” – not once, but three times on the same day – and he holds a Guinness World Record for distance and accuracy while hitting a golf ball out of midair, a shot he originated two decades ago.

Hiter had high praise for the 110-year-old club’s tree-lined fairways and undulating greens, a different experience than the newer courses around his Florida home. And he drew corresponding kudos from the audience for his artistry: a talent born of balance, hand-eye coordination … and practice, practice, practice.

The effort involved in reaching one’s goals was also acknowledged in remarks from the tournament co-chair:

“Tonight, we celebrate 33 years of the Penn College Foundation Golf Classic and, thanks to the generosity of supporters and participants such as you, more than 800 students have benefited from more than $800,000 in scholarships that have been awarded as a result of this annual event,” Paul H. Rooney Jr., a member of the tournament committee and the foundation’s board of directors, told participants during dinner in Le Jeune Chef Restaurant.

Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour signals her satisfactory ascent in an Allison Crane & Rigging bucket, from which she dropped a shower of golf balls in a scholarship fundraiser.
Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour signals her satisfactory ascent in an Allison Crane & Rigging bucket, from which she dropped a shower of golf balls in a scholarship fundraiser.

Rooney facilitated the event with Steven M. Sleboda, a fellow member of the foundation board, who joined college President Davie Jane Gilmour in greeting golfers at an afternoon luncheon at the country club.

“Your generosity in supporting the Penn College Golf Classic over the years has built an endowed scholarship fund that is more than $1.5 million and generates more than $65,000 annually for scholarships,” the president said. “This support has empowered hundreds of students to earn an applied technology education and find success in the global marketplace. I thank you for investing in our tomorrow makers.”

Reflecting the innovative ways in which the institution transcends ribbon-cuttings and static building dedications to “celebrate our supporters in ways that represent the Penn College spirit,” Gilmour donned a hard hat and harness and was lifted by a crew from Allison Crane & Rigging for a fundraising ball drop. Donors purchased numbered golf balls that were dropped from aloft, with prizes going to the three players whose entries landed closest to the pin.

Those interested in contributing to a Penn College scholarship – or establishing one – may send a donation to the Penn College Foundation, One College Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701; or call the Institutional Advancement Office toll-free at 866-GIVE-2-PC (866-448-3272).

For more about the college, a national leader in applied technology education, email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

Photos by Becky J. Shaner, senior manager of donor relations and special events

 

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