Oldest benefit tournament will see changes next year

By Ronald MacArthur

He can probably count on one hand the number of times he picked up a golf club in his life. Even so, for the past 20 years, Ron Breeding has been the man the behind the scenes of the oldest continuous benefit golf tournament in Seaford, the Seaford Kiwanis Foundation Golf Tournament. In fact, as he points out, the Kiwanis tournament was the very first non-Seaford Golf & Country Club-member sponsored tournament to be played on the SGCC course. That decision to allow an outside organization use the course for a tournament opened the flood gates for other benefit tournaments over the past two decades. "And it's been a win-win for the club and the organizations," Breeding said. Breeding, who is currently vice president of the club and has actually been president once before in 1986, recently announced that the 20th tournament was his last as tournament director. "I will be glad to help out, but this is the last year that I am coordinating the tournament," he said. On Friday during his final tournament luncheon as director, Seaford Mayor Edward Butler presented Breeding, who is the director of parks and recreation and facilities for the city of Seaford, with a proclamation for his efforts. Butler is part of the history of the tournament. Along with former mayor Dan Short, Joe Conaway, Bridgeville commission president, and Jay Reed, of Blue Cross-Blue Shield, the four have played as a foursome in 19 of the 20 tournaments. Over the past 20 years, the proceeds from the golf tournament have helped the foundation grow to its current level of $250,000. The golf tournament is the only fund raiser for the foundation.

This past year, the club awarded three $4,000 scholarships to Seaford High graduates Jennifer Stevenson, Eric Kimpton and Jeremy Halter ($1,000 of the total comes from Johnny Janosik). The most profitable tournament to date took place in 2004 when the foundation cleared around $8,500, according to Breeding. He said that most of the proceeds come from the faithful sponsors of the tournament - 14 of the original 18 have been with the tournament since it started in 1987. Breeding said that it was touching to be recognized with a standing ovation from the golfers and Kiwanis volunteers during the luncheon on Friday, but he was even touched more by the attendance of two people who have played a significant role in the formation of the foundation - Leon Trivits, a resident of the Methodist Manor House, and Wade Nystrom, who came from his home in Englewood, Fla. to play in the tournament. Breeding said that is was Nystrom, who was an active member of the club and president in 1983, who actually came up with the idea to form a foundation to fund the scholarships. "And Mr. Leon is one of those quiet men who has always been there for us in the club," Breeding said. So, what about the future of the tournament without Breeding at the helm? "The foundation is strong as it stands right now with or without the tournament. This past tournament, I think we put more of everything into it and actually reaped the least amount of money. Of course, that's not the sole purpose," Breeding said. He added that some golfers in the club who have served on the tournament committee have expressed interest in possibly stepping up to take over as director. Tournament committee members included the following: Frank Raskaukas, publicity; Steve Schwartz, program; Ron MacArthur, photography; Vance Kesler, course set-up; Jim Thompson, volunteers; Jim Young, rules; Ralph Palmer, registration; Will Cason, scoring; Karl Brown, meals; Karl Van Tine, facility; Dave Webb, corporate sponsors; George Beauchamp, tee sponsors; Fred Glime, door prizes; Rollie Jordan, souvenirs; Byron Palmer, special recognition; George Ward, special events. See another photograph on page 48.

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