BJ Wetzler golf tournament achieves ultimate goal

Typically, when a charity event such as a golf tournament dies, it’s because of a lack of interest, lack of funding or just generally a lack of success.

Saturday will mark the end of the BJ Wetzler Golf Tournament and the Silent Auction that precedes it on Friday night. But this will be a happy ending because the tournament has had so much success over the years that it has achieved its goal.

“There are so many great causes out there and money is needed to bank roll them. We have raised enough money to fund a scholarship for the next 30, 35 years,” said John Wetzler, who, along with his wife Mary, began the tournament to honor the memory of their daughter, BJ, who passed away.

“For us it’s been a labor of love. She passed away around Christmas and we talked about what we could do to honor her memory and we decided to do this.”

The tournament, now in its eighth year, has given scholarships worth $17,500 to senior Bellefonte softball players, starting with a $1,000 scholarship, then increasing to $1,500 and soon to be $2,000. One hundred percent of the money raised goes to the BJ Wetzler Scholarship fund, which is managed by the Bellefonte Education Foundation.

The silent auction will be held Friday at the Faith United Methodist Church from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

More than 60 items will be auctioned off, including two preseason tickets to Pittsburgh Steelers games against Green Bay and Carolina; a football autographed by Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell; a gift certificate for two people to a Canoe and Kayak outing on the Bald Eagle Creek; a $100 gift certificate on a purchase of $299 or more at Capparella Furniture; a framed photograph by former CDT photographer Dick Brown; A basketball autographed by Penn State’s Maggie Lucas and teammates; and a Penn State football package that includes a chair, bottle of wine and two tickets to any 2015 Penn State home game.

The golf tournament will be held at the Nittany Country Club on Saturday with 128 golfers participating.