Golf tourney to benefit “Sammy Fund”

Sunday’s event will benefit a fund named for Samantha Otte to help needy children.

With the help of a benefit golf tournament and youth opportunity fund, Samantha Otte’s light will keep shining.

Samantha was 10 years old when she died in March after receiving a long-overdue liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis. Her parents, Quincy natives Chuck and June Otte, decided to organize a golf tournament to benefit the Sammy Fund, which will help deserving and needy children.

The tournament at Westview Golf Course is Sunday, with a full field of 30 four-player teams. Doors at the Knights of Columbus open at 3 p.m., with a meal served 5-8 p.m. and a silent auction 4-8 p.m.

The K of C event is open to families and games will be available for kids. Tickets are $10 for the meal and free for children 12 and under.

“It’s helped us a great deal with the loss of Samantha to realize how much people care,” Chuck Otte said. “It’s important to June and I that we help other kids in the community while sustaining Samantha’s memory.”

“I think every parent who has lost a child has that big fear that their child will not be remembered. This is a way we’ll be able to do a lot of good sustaining her memory and honor her spirit and memory.”

The Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund recently was formed through the Quincy Area Community Foundation.

Chuck and June Otte know their daughter would be pleased with the tournament and the cause.

“She would like all this,” June Otte said with a smile. “She was a very giving child herself and she was always wanting to help those less fortunate than herself, so I know she would approve.”

A lively and fun-loving child, Samantha was active in the community theater and the St. Anthony’s Girl Scouts.

The Ottes are grateful for the support and generosity displayed by the Quincy community. First Bankers Trust is the main sponsor and many friends and businesses donated items for the auction.

Organizing the golf tournament has helped with the healing process. It’s kept Chuck and June busy and made them realize they have many friends and family who want to help.

Among the many silent auction items are a condominium for a week in St. Simon, Fla., a ski trip, YMCA membership, savings bonds, tickets for Rams, Cardinals, Cubs and Blues games, art prints, massage and beauty sessions, two season passes to the Quincy Community Theatre, floral arrangements, restaurant gift certificates and overnight hotel accommodations.

The golf tournament is a natural because both Chuck and June Otte play at Westview, and they had a benefit tournament two years ago at the course to raise money for Samantha’s liver transplant.

They intend to make it an annual event.

“We learned first-hand that you don’t have control over some of the most important things in your life,” June Otte said. “But the thing you can control is your attitude. This has helped us realize we’re not the only ones or only couple who’s faced the loss of a child or faced difficulties.”

By Rodney Hart
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

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