Time to tee-off for college athletics

Golf outing celebrates 20 years of raising

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By CHRIS PUMMER

It's almost that time of year again to tee-off to help the Morton College Athletic Association.

The association will host its 20th annual Slivers Open on Friday, July 29, at the Hickory Hills Country Club.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Morton College Athletic Association's Henry and Marie Vais Scholarship Fund and the Morton College Foundation.

"The last few years we've been able to get over $10,000 from the outing that goes to help our athletic programs," said Tim Visk, who's been the main organizer of the event for the last 18 years and been involved in every MCAA Open. "I think it's enhanced some of our teams tremendously. They have some money to help with their recruitment efforts. It helps them land better athletes."

As an example, Visk points to the men's basketball team, which cruised to an 11-3 record in the Skyway Conference to claim the league crown. Then came a run that saw the Panthers advance all the way to the seventh-place game of the NJCAA Div. II National Tournament.

"Some of those kids probably had scholarship money raised from this golf outing," Visk said.

The tournament can accommodate between 100 and 120 participants. Visk expects to have a turnout in that range this year, but new signups are still welcomed.

The fee for golf and dinner is $95, or a participant can attend just the golf for $70, or just the dinner for $35. The golf has a shotgun start at 9 a.m., with the dinner beginning at 3 p.m.

In addition to golf and dinner, there will be raffles and prizes awarded.

Though the tournament has been held every year now for 20 years, it was only two years ago that it was re-christened as the "Slivers Open" after the nickname of long-time Morton College equipment manager Bob Slivovski.

It was Slivovski that organized the first two benefit outings, and after he passed away several years ago, organizers thought naming the tournament after him would be a fitting memorial for the man that got it started.

The tournament has also grown to a comfortable size.

With the number of participants right around 100 for the past five or six years, the association has been able to make money without the event getting out of hand.

"To have something going now for 20 years means we've had a pretty favorable response," Visk said. "We've had people that have played in every one of these tournaments. It just shows their loyalty to the program and their dedication to the cause."

Anyone interested in either golfing in the event, or sponsoring the event, can still call Visk at 656-8000 at ext. 302, or George Fejt at ext. 370.

More information about joining the Morton College Athletic Association is also available by calling ext. 370.

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