OFF THE TEE: Children are the big winners in Oil and Gas outing

It seems like there are golf scrambles basically every weekend.

However, those that benefit children in the Ohio Valley are usually well attended and a very good fundraiser.

The second annual Oil & Gas Outing was held at Belmont Hills Country Club Monday afternoon with some 25 teams taking part in the event, which benefitted Harmony House, a child advocacy center located in St. Clairsville.

“We almost doubled the size of the event, and (in 2015), we’re hoping to grow even more,” Belmont Hills CC Professional Ron Baker said. “We really want to get this thing going and make it a big annual event.”

This was the second year for the event, but the first time it benefitted a charity.

“We wanted to find a way to improve it,” Baker said. “We wanted to get a charity involved.”

Once he decided to get a charity on board, Baker called Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas for some input.

“He recommended Harmony House and when I found out what they do for children, I decided that was the one we wanted to do,” Baker said.

Baker believes the event will have generated more than $2,000 for the Harmony House.

“Harmony House is small, but we have two centers (St. Clairsville and Wheeling) and a five-person staff, so this (scramble) gave me a chance to network with the gas and oil people that I would have never had the opportunity to meet,” Harmony House Executive Director Leslie Vassilaros said. “I was thrilled when Ron approached us about this. We’re fundraising all of the time because we don’t charge for our services, so when someone said they were going to do something for us, it was great.”

The tournament attracted a mix of local players and folks from throughout the tri-state area that are in the Ohio Valley because of the oil and gas boom that’s been ongoing.

Vassilaros was more excited about the initiative that Baker and Belmont Hills took more than the actual dollar figure.

“I was just so impressed that someone cared enough to do something,” Vassilaros said. “Someone (fundraising) on behalf of the kids we serve is the wonderful part.”

Thomas was on hand Monday at the event as well, representing the Belmont County Commissioners.

“From the county’s perspective, we’re a big supporter of Harmony House and provide some funding for it, too,” Thomas said. “I addressed the group (prior to tee off) and told them, ‘anytime we can do a fundraiser like this or anything that helps children, and have a fun event like this, we’re going to be behind it.'”

Thomas actually offered up a number of suggestions in terms of charities.

“As I started to think about it, I thought about firming it down to the Harmony House,” Thomas said. “They do so much good for children that are abused, it’s tough to put it into words. It’s a sad commentary on life that we have to have agencies like Harmony House, Belmont County Children’s Services, Adult Protective Services, etc, but you do. I am elated and appreciative of Belmont Hills, the players and, in the end, everyone had fun, but the children are going to benefit and that’s all Belmont County cares about.”

A foursome from Pennsylvania claimed the top prize, shooting a 17-under round of 55.

The big highlight on the course came early in the day when Martin Leehr of McMurray, Pa. sank a hole-in-one on the second hole with a 7-iron, which resulted in him driving home a 2015 Ford Escape, courtesy of Doan Ford in Morristown.

According to Leehr and those playing with him, on a team representing Green & Associates, they knew the shot was good as soon as he hit it. It sailed eight past the hole, caught the backstop and trickled all the way back, setting off a wild celebration.



The BHCC held a cart fundraiser scramble last Saturday with six teams taking part in the event.

Capturing the overall title with a 17-under round of 55 was the foursome of Terry Carson, Terry Carson II, Kevin Abel and Michele Abel.

There was a tie for second with teams at 58. Posting those scores were the foursomes of Jack Carpenter, Ted Hanlon, Kelley Hanlon and Nick Karras. Also posting a 58 was Jim Circosta, John Vota, Charles Melchiori and Donna Melchiori.


  • George Anderson, of Bellaire, aced the par 3, 125-yard, No. 8 hole at Fairway River Links in Rayland last Friday. The shot, made with a 9-iron, was witnessed by Mike Prati and John Hickey.


  • THE BARE the Burden Golf Scramble will be held on Sunday, July 6 at Cadiz Country Club. The event is being sponsored by The Grappling House and The Purple Heart Palace. The tournament will begin with a shotgun start at 12:30 and registration commences at 11:30 a.m. The entry fee is $60 per player or $240 per team and there will be an optional skins game. There will be prizes awarded for skill contests as well as a 50-50 drawing and raffles. The fee includes hot dog lunch, beverages and dinner after the round. For more information, contact Chip Snider at 740-546-2110 (H), 740-275-2092 (C).
  • The Union Local girls’ basketball team will be sponsoring a scramble on July 12 at Horseshoe Bend Golf Course. The shotgum start is set for 9 a.m. Prizes will be awarded on all Par-3 holes. There will be a 50/50 raffle and door prizes. The cost is $60 per person. Mulligan and Skins included. Food and beverages will be provided.

For more information call Kelley (740) 238-0053.

All proceeds benefit the Union Local girls basketball team. Red sponsor $500 and White sponsor $300. Hole sponsors $150

Make Checks Payable to Union Local Girls Basketball, 35275 Kenwood Ave., Barnesville, OH., 43713.

  • THE ANNUAL Buckeye Local Touchdown Club Golf Scramble will be held on Saturday, July 12 at Paradise Hills Golf Course.

The event is a 3-person scramble and the cost is $150 per team with all proceeds benefitting the Buckeye Local Football program. To register your team, please either contact Johnny O at (740) 391-0723, Tom Figurski (740) 424-6300 or Paradise Hills at (740) 859-5028. You can also register your team at the course.

  • THE BELLAIRE American Legion Post #52 will host its fourth annual Tom Donahue Memorial Classic Golf Scramble on Saturday, July 19 at Horseshoe Bend Golf Course in Armstrong Mills with a shotgun start planned for 9 a.m..

The cost is $50 per player or $200 per team and registration is due by July 12. The cost includes cart, green fees, food, refreshments, prizes and door prizes. There will be an optional skins game for $5.

The scramble is open to the public. For more information, please contact Bill Wilson (391-9841), Buzz Donahue (676-4110) and Dick Johnson (359-2301).