Thursday, July 14, 2005
By Rodney Hart
Bryan Smith says he only plays golf twice a year, but he’s guaranteed to be at Westview Golf Course October 16 th.
Bryan and Donna Smith were announced this morning as the Honorary Chairmen of the annual Sammy Event Fundraiser, one of Quincy’s biggest and best events. The Smiths own TNT Action Sports in Quincy.
“Maybe we’ll try to get a few more teams signed up and add some life to the party,” Bryan Smith said.
This is the sixth year for the event, which raises money in memory of Samantha Otte. Established in late 2000, the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area has distributed 49 grants totaling $67,815. After five years of grant distributions, the fund has grown to more than $100,000.
The October 16 th event will include a four-person scramble at Westview, a tournament at the par 3 Knights of Columbus course, and a dinner and silent auction at the K of C.
Ten-year-old Samantha died in March 2000 following a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis. Her parents, Chuck and June Otte, joined friends to create something positive from the loss, and the first Sammy Event took place in the fall of 2000.
Donna Smith said she was “honored and flattered” when asked by the Ottes to help with the event.
“The important thing to them is each other, June Otte said of the Smiths. “Their children are also important, as is making a difference in the community.”
June Otte said the event can be “bittersweet,” as it can’t change the fact that they lost their daughter. But it also helps to “embrace the sweet things in life” and make a difference in the lives of area children, she said.
This morning’s press conference took place at First Union Congregational Church, home of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Quincy office.
Sponsors include First Bankers Trust, which has been with the Sammy Fund Event since its inception, Refreshment Services Pepsi, WGEM/Quincy Herald-Whig, and new sponsor County Market.
Organizations receiving funds last January included the Adams County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Adams County, Camp Callahan, Cornerstone, Girl Scouts of Two Rivers Council, John Wood Community College Foundation, Quincy Family YMCA, Quincy Humane Society, and the Redmon & Lee Youth and Adult Center.
For more information on the tournament, contact the Sammy Fund at 231-0070.