Golfers raise money for local charities


July 12, 1999|By Lisa Breslin | Lisa Breslin,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

UTILITY GOLF Association Inc. is a nonprofit organization that has pumped more than $45,000 into small local charities since 1995.

The association is the result of good friends (who are also good golfers) getting together, luring their business contacts into their dream of raising lots of money for small charity organizations through two golf tournaments a year.

The last tournament, in May, pulled in $9,000, which was presented to the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll County last week.

"This donation is so wonderful," said Ann Barclay, a board member of the Carroll County Therapeutic Recreation Council and a volunteer. "The therapeutic riding program ran for 20 years without financial help, but we've grown. Now we have the arena with all its expenses, as well as the horses. Having this money is just terrific."

In previous years, local and neighboring education foundations, development foundations and scholarship funds have also received sizable donations from Utility Golf Association.

Beneficiaries have two things in common: They help children and have administrative costs of less than 2 percent of their annual operating budget.

"We like to help the charities who don't always get recognition -- the smaller ones run by lots of volunteers and few administrative costs," said Rob Landon, chief executive officer and co-founder of the association.

"When you give money to help children, it is an incredible feeling. They win, yes, but we win big because these children will have the answers to tomorrow's problems," Landon said.

Landon runs this nonprofit powerhouse with longtime friend and co-founder Paul Murphy of Silver Run, Carl Seifert of Severna Park and Denny Urbach of Dundalk.

Murphy's wife, Ginger, is the association's secretary and Landon's wife, Mary, handles the publicity.

Landon works for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., Murphy works for Bell Atlantic, hence the name Utility Golf Association. Most of the more than 180 golfers in each tournament are utility employees from all over the United States.

Donations come from business contacts as far away as Washington state, Texas, Canada and India, Murphy said.

"Local businesses get hit up all the time and we don't want to drain them, so we raise money from companies outside the county," he explained.

Talk about a win/win situation.

Utility Golf Association is accepting applications from charitable organizations to receive next year's donation.

Information: 410-239-1977, or 410-876-0029.

Finksburg Titans travel

When Walt Weise told his team about a baseball tournament in Knoxville, Tenn., this summer, each member had visions of victories, cool sightseeing along the way and one big blast at Dollywood, the amusement park.

When the players, coaches and parents returned last week, they were quick to joke that two out of three isn't bad.

The Smoky Mountains were breathtaking and Dollywood was decent, but they never anticipated the size and talent of their opponents. There were no victories.

The Finksburg Titans found themselves playing in a tournament for 16-year-olds, though members of this Baltimore Metro Baseball team are 14 and 15 years old.

"We had to have a good sense of humor," said team member Ryan Myers. "They were a lot bigger than us, and they were pretty strong and pretty fast."

"It was a good experience. When you are playing older boys, it's interesting to see how much your kids will develop in just one year," said Weise, who coaches the Finksburg Titans with Damon Thayer, Phil Myers, Bill Myers and John Busick. "The highlight of going was seeing the boys have fun."

Team members who traveled to Tennessee were: Ryan Myers, Jason Thayer, Adam Pelc, Zack Moye, Josh Pelta, Brad Carver, Steve Jordan, Eric Busick, Joe Reilly, Adam Reynolds, Scott Robinson and Walt Weise III.

Lisa Breslin's Central neighborhood column appears each Monday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 7/12/99

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