MINERAL WELLS -Jonathon Kimble, who serves as the Mountaineer for West Virginia University athletics, will be the featured guest at the third annual Mid-Ohio Valley Golf Classic, set for May 18 and 19 at Woodridge Golf Club.
The tournament combines those who support Stadium Field and the Erickson All-Sports Facility into a united fundraising effort that has resulted in the two entities splitting $19,000 over the first two years of the tournament.
After the initial event attracted just 16 golfers, last year's tournament nearly tripled that amount, as 46 participants joined former WVU quarterback Pat White at the Mineral Wells course.
Kimble will appear at Woodridge from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, where he not only will meet with tournament participants, but also with members of the general public. He will fire his musket to signify the shotgun start for those who will participate in the tournament.
Rather than have separate golf tournaments and compete against one another for virtually the same pool of funds, members of the two stadium committees decided in 2011 to unite their efforts into a single golf tournament. They called the bringing together of the red of Parkersburg High and the blue of Parkersburg South, "Purple Pride.''
Both stadiums recently have been in the news over necessary repairs. The Wood County Board of Education earmarked $700,000 for the repair of the bleachers at Stadium Field and $200,000 to construct a new all-weather track at Erickson. Those six-figure amounts illustrate the major expense of running such facilities.
The tournament once again will be sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and is seeking other sponsors at various levels of commitment. Instead of its traditional banquet featuring a guest speaker, golfers will be treated to a cookout following Saturday's round with the South of the River Band providing the entertainment.
For the second straight year, those competing for the West Virginia Golf Association's Player of the Year Award will earn points based upon their tournament performance. Tournament organizers said the WVGA's involvement last year was one of the major reasons the tournament field grew as several of the state's top golfers entered the event for that reason.
"This is for the benefit of Parkersburg and the kids,'' said Joe Carrico, a member of the Stadium Field committee.
Dale Richardson, a member of the Erickson group said "we want the community to understand we are doing this because it improves the city of Parkersburg.''
Steve Hussey, a former South standout who has headed the committee from its inception, said men and women golfers are welcome to participate in the tournament. They can enter stroke play or the two-player best ball. Entry fee is $100 and includes two days of golf with cart and lunch both days.
For more information on the tournament, call 304-615-6275.