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Reliance boosting Park Hills Classic

Play begins this morning at Park Hills Country Club, where golfers are competing in the area’s oldest best-ball tournament.

While there’s still plenty of work to be done over the weekend at an event this big, a tremendous amount of pre-tournament preparation has already been completed by countless people, including Dennis Shreve and Sharon King from the clubhouse staff, tournament directors Terry Burd and John Koury and head professional Lynn Waugamann and his pro shop staff.

Another significant contributor to the tournament is Altoona-based Reliance Bank, a community institution that traces its local roots back more than 80 years. In 2017, Reliance Bank signed on as the title sponsor of the event, now known as the Reliance Bank Park Hills Classic.

“We really felt that partnering with the Classic was a great marketing opportunity for us,” said Reliance Bank president and CEO Denny Doll. “It has a wonderful history, and we have so many customers and employees who enjoy the tournament. It’s an event that just really fits with our community strategy.”

In addition to their relationship with Park Hills, Reliance has had a long-standing commitment in supporting numerous, local charities. In recent years, the bank has been involved with events like the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, and local financial literacy programs for students. In addition, Reliance has been a big supporter of local high school and collegiate sports programs.

As the title sponsor for this weekend’s Reliance Bank Park Hills Classic, the company’s name and company logo will be prominently displayed in a tasteful and appropriate way, but Reliance’s relationship with the tournament runs deeper than just lending its name.

During the Classic, many of the bank’s employees help with the numerous tasks necessary for any large-scale golf tournament. Reliance Bank marketing manager Lisa Michelone is at the top of the list in lending her services to the tournament.

“We help in any way we can,” Michelone said. “Including helping to prepare and print the tournament program. We also help with tournament promotion and with the registration process on Thursday.”

In fact, a group of seven or eight Reliance employees help each year with the arduous task of tournament registration, a particularly time-consuming job that involves distributing the many tournament gifts that are given to each participating golfer.

“Reliance Bank has been a fantastic partner for us,” Koury said. “They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them, and Lisa (Michelone) has been a particularly tireless contributor.”

Additionally, Park Hills has had a long-standing tradition of having many club members selflessly volunteer their services to help make this tournament one of the best in the state.

Everyone will be working hard to make this event the best yet, and while the tournament’s first-round matches are scheduled to be completed today, play will continue on Saturday to determine each of the six flight’s semifinalists.

Morning and afternoon rounds will be played on Sunday to decide each flight’s eventual winner.

Two-time defending champions Dan Brown and Patrick Rohrbaugh will be looking to take home the championship flight trophy for a third year in a row — a feat accomplished by only three other teams: Bill Kelley and Ned Walker (1970-72), Rocco Mediate and Tommy Smith (1982-84) and Dave Borkovich and Mark Borkovich (1986-88).

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