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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

Highly recommended and well-equipped to entertain, "The Hitman" delivers.
Highly recommended and well-equipped to entertain, “The Hitman” delivers.

As expected, the performer proves to be a crowd-pleaser.
As expected, the performer proves to be a crowd-pleaser.

The president indulges yet one more novel way to put a Penn College spin on an event.
The president indulges yet one more novel way to put a Penn College spin on an event.

Brent Fish (right), of Fish Real Estate (among the day's player sponsors), celebrates with his winning foursome.
Brent Fish (right), of Fish Real Estate (among the day’s player sponsors), celebrates with his winning foursome.

Starting out on the right foot – better yet, the left – Hiter amazes his audience ...
Starting out on the right foot – better yet, the left – Hiter amazes his audience …

... and joins an aptly dressed Little League entourage on the tee.
… and joins an aptly dressed Little League entourage on the tee.

Pick a card, any card: Penn College golf coach Matt Haile (left) engages William Manos, of the sponsoring Fairfield Auto Group.
Pick a card, any card: Penn College golf coach Matt Haile (left) engages William Manos, of the sponsoring Fairfield Auto Group.

A shout-out for the event's philanthropic friends
A shout-out for the event’s philanthropic friends

Hiter (left) and Compass Group North America representative Chris Kowalewski, a longtime Penn College partner
Hiter (left) and Compass Group North America representative Chris Kowalewski, a longtime Penn College partner

Rain wasn't the only thing falling from the sky!
Rain wasn’t the only thing falling from the sky!

Linda and Ed Alberts, of Ralph S. Alberts Co. Inc., don't let rain spoil their good time.
Linda and Ed Alberts, of Ralph S. Alberts Co. Inc., don’t let rain spoil their good time.

Even when trust isn't an issue, it's sometimes best to look away.
Even when trust isn’t an issue, it’s sometimes best to look away.

Sleboda welcomes guests, acknowledges sponsors and introduces President Gilmour at lunch.
Sleboda welcomes guests, acknowledges sponsors and introduces President Gilmour at lunch.

Tournament sponsor Fisher Mining Co. is represented by John A. Blaschak.
Tournament sponsor Fisher Mining Co. is represented by John A. Blaschak.

Williamsport Country Club pro Chris McDonald (left) and Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation, pick a winner.
Williamsport Country Club pro Chris McDonald (left) and Kyle A. Smith, executive director of the Penn College Foundation, pick a winner.

Members of the Baker Tilly team flank Hiter.
Members of the Baker Tilly team flank Hiter.

Aubrey Alexander, of Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships – a Penn College alumnus, member of the Golf Classic Committee and co-sponsor of the hole-in-one competition – sizes up his lie.
Aubrey Alexander, of Blaise Alexander Family Dealerships – a Penn College alumnus, member of the Golf Classic Committee and co-sponsor of the hole-in-one competition – sizes up his lie.

Hiter bounces a ball of the clubhead in one of his time-honed skills.
Hiter bounces a ball of the clubhead in one of his time-honed skills.

 

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