19th annual Geri Reeve Open set for Sept. 10
STATE COLLEGE — Raising breast cancer awareness and helping underprivileged and underinsured Centre County residents is only part of the Geri Reeve Open Golf Tournament.
Slated to begin at 7 a.m. on Sept. 10 at the Penn State Blue and White Courses, the 19th annual event will feature a four-person scramble, team photos, breakfast and lunch, prizes, and a variety of other events and activities, said Geri Reeve, event founder. The deadline to register is tomorrow.
The event, which benefits the Centre County Breast Cancer Coalition and the American Cancer Society, is open only to women participants, Reeve said.
One-hundred percent of the funds donated to the Centre County Breast Cancer Coalition stays in Centre County for free screening and diagnostic mammograms, Reeve said.
“With the money we have raised from the Geri Reeve Open, we have now been able to include additional breast services which include biopsies,” she said. “The money we (give) to the American Cancer Society is donated to the Centre County office and appropriated nationally.”
Reeve, a two-time breast cancer survivor, said the money raised through the event is “truly secondary” to the main purpose, which is to promote awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection.
“In 2000, we added the Centre County Breast Cancer Coalition (as a beneficiary) so that people living in Centre County could benefit and receive some financial assistance for mammogram testing,” Reeve said. “Without a doubt, someone out there is alive today because of the Geri Reeve Open.”
The event draws some 170 participants each year, she said, between golfers and volunteers.
“The Geri Reeve Open started at Toftrees (golf resort) and has grown so much we now have it at the Penn State Golf Course and fill both the Blue and White courses,” Reeve said.
The tournament, which started in 1994 as a small local event of 42 golfers, was inspired by Reeve, and made possible by the work of a few friends.
“I found my first lump at the age of 28 which resulted in my first mastectomy,” Reeve said. “Unfortunately, I had a second mastectomy 13 years later, and that resulted in six months of chemotherapy and five years of Tamoxifen (hormone therapy).”
“By the time I had my second bout with cancer, I had become a pretty avid golfer and someone who loved life,” she continued. “Even on chemo, I would go to the golf course and my friends would pick me up in a golf cart and let me play a few holes.”
Four of those friends, Nancy Lippincott, Mary Ellen Hurley, Suzanne Cummings and Anne Marie Lee, decided to get a golf tournament together and donate the money to the American Cancer Society, Reeve said.
“That was the beginning of the Geri Reeve Open Golf Tournament,” she said. “The first year we made $393.”
The 2011 tournament raised $25,002.41, pushing the 18-year total to nearly $262,050, Reeve said.
“This would not be possible without the committee … (and) special thanks to the 2011 Geri Reeve Open sponsors and golfers,” Reeve said. “We look forward to your continued support in 2012. It is only through the efforts and support of local residents, organizations and businesses that we can continue to grow and make an impact in the fight against this deadly disease.”
For more information, including sponsor and registration forms, visit www.GeriReeveOpen.com.