They laughed, golfed, ate steak - and raised money for two causes in honor of a friend.
The 92 golfers participating in last Friday's Parkersburg Area School Boy Golf Challenge at Worthington Golf Course made monetary contributions to nonprofits in the name of the late Eugene "Sonny" Hague. Hague had served as master of ceremonies for the benefit golf scramble and last year's event was canceled when Hague died on May 8.
Gary Winters of North Carolina was master of ceremonies this year. The day of fun and fellowship drew Parkersburg High School graduates from as far away as North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina and Virginia.
"It was a beautiful day," said Tom Longmire, a challenge organizer from the PHS Class of 1963. "We had a fantastic time."
Proceeds from the fourth annual golf outing and dinner, at Dils Riverfront Park in Vienna, will go to the Parkersburg Catholic High School baseball program and to the Sam Mandich Scholarship Fund, which was created by the Parkersburg High School Basketball Boosters in 1985 to honor coach Mandich.
The golfers were graduates of Parkersburg High School from classes 1955-75, with five classes added this year. The winning team from the PHS Class of 1974 - Hap Esbenshade, Rob Collins, Fred Earley and Scot Swartz - shot 10-under par.
A plaque with the names of the winning golfers will be placed on a trophy at the 19th Street Country Club.
Organizers plan to donate future golf challenge proceeds to build up the Sam Mandich Scholarship Fund through the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation.
Many of the challenge golfers played basketball for Mandich at PHS or were in his classes. Mandich, who coached PHS boys basketball teams to three state titles, became the school's athletics director in 1974.
Mandich, who died in 2006, was a gentleman and a mentor to many PHS students.
The Sam Mandich Scholarship Fund, which awards a scholarship each year to a Big Red senior basketball player, has a balance of $12,267. Longmire and others want to increase the balance to $25,000, to provide more scholarship money and sustain the fund.
The Mandich fund has distributed $19,000 in scholarships since its inception 27 years ago. Contributions to the fund can be mailed to the Parkersburg Area Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1762, Parkersburg,WV 26102-1762.
Roger Mackey of Parkersburg is hoping for a large turnout at today's fourth annual Tygart School reunion at the shelter in Southwood Park.
Mackey, who attended the former south Parkersburg elementary school in the 1950s, maintains a website, tygartschoolreunion.com, that is filled with information and photographs pertaining to Tygart School. He has fond members of attending Tygart, "a good school," which was situated behind the present-day southside Kmart on the current Moose Lodge property. Kids used to hang out at Pick Wilson's store and gym at 10th Avenue and Neal Street, Mackey said.
Steve Stanley of Vienna also plans to attend the reunion. His mother, Elma Stanley, was a longtime secretary at Tygart School. Steve remembers students walking across two-lane Division Street from the old Tygart School to the new one, which was built in 1954-55.
Today's reunion from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is open to anyone who attended Tygart School. Bring old photographs and a covered dish, Mackey said. John Barker, who also attended Tygart, will be bringing his sound system to the reunion to play 1950s and 1960s songs.
Contact Paul LaPann at firstname.lastname@example.org