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Sheetz organizers happy to get event on to the links

Mirror photo by Michael Boytim Steve Dalecki addresses golfers at the Becky Sheetz Classic on Thursday.

More than 150 golfers gathered at Park Hills Golf Club on Thursday afternoon for the 25th annual Becky Sheetz Classic golf tournament.

Though the amount of players is down somewhat from past years, getting the event in at all was critical for organizations like The Arc of Blair County and Special Olympics.

“This is one of the major fundraisers for both The Arc and Special Olympics,” said Steve Dalecki, who has organized and run the event for years. “It accounts for most of their operational budget for the entire year. It’s very important to them, and we’re very gracious to have the continued support to keep them going every year.”

Ken Macha, the former Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman and manager of the Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers, played in the morning group with Charlie Sheetz, Gail Sheetz and Barb Fiore.

“We have great support as well as all of you that have helped keep this going,” said Charlie Sheetz before the morning group hit their first tee shots. “Ken Macha is here with us, and we appreciate that. Kent Tekulve, who has been here just about every year of the 25 called me the other night to tell me his back was totally out of whack and he isn’t even driving a car right now. He’s fighting some health issues or he would have definitely been here. He’s always been a great supporter.”

Each player received a Pirates hat for participating.

“It’s great to have their continued support every year,” Dalecki said. “They are always more than willing to make the trip in and play with us, help us promote the event and donate as well.”

Doug Hershey, Rich Shoop, Dave Cowger and Denny Middleton shot a 14-under par 56 in the scramble format to win the title.

The outing is named after the late Becky Sheetz, who dedicated her life to helping people with disabilities before dying from breast cancer at 38.

“It’s nice to see it’s still supported in the community and the willingness of people to still come together in these times to support The Arc and Special Olympics,” Dalecki said. “We continue to have a lot of long-time sponsors, and we’re very appreciative of them.”

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