Golf tournament benefits very special athletes

Local News

Eighteen teams and 18 holes.

Thursday, more than 70 golfers competed for first place. But for some athletes, the game meant so much more.

The 21st Annual Windber Country Club Golf Outing raised money for the Special Olympics of Cambria County.

Chris Crooks spent time on the green, but he doesn’t play golf.

“Bowling, basketball, volleyball. It’s fun,” said Crooks, an athlete with Special Olympics of Cambria County.

“The annual budget’s about $90,000 for Cambria County. So, this goes a long way to help pay for equipment and travel and just the games their involved in,” said Joe Ponchione, a volunteer for Special Olympics of Cambria County.

Crooks’ father, Bill, said watching his son compete and be a part of the team is the real prize.

“They have friendships among themselves that are just wonderful,” said Bill Crooks, Chris’ father. “They always have a good time. There are no losers.”

While Chris didn’t play in the tournament, he’s going to practice his swing for next year.

“I’m not playing today. Next time,” Chris said.

Overall, the golf tournament raised about $20,000 to help athletes from the Special Olympics of Cambria County pay for equipment and travel costs.

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