VIENNA — An annual golf tournament that has honored a Parkersburg businessman and raised funds for Lou Gehrig’s disease research for more than 20 years is coming to an end.
The 21st Dave Couch Golf Tournament will be held Friday, May 27 at Parkersburg Country Club and organizers want it to be a celebration of Couch’s life and those in the community who have supported him each year.
“All good things come to an end,” said Blair Couch, Dave’s son. “We are planning to hold a great event for the players who have played over these 21 years and we hope to come out with a bang.”
Dave Couch, who owned and operated the local Hertz rental car business in Parkersburg for many years and served as Wood County Commissioner, was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in December 1999 and died in December. 2001.
Blair, who has since taken over the family business and served on the Wood County Commission for years, said it was time to end the tournament. The event was started by him, his mother Jane and his sister Debbie.
“We have raised over $650,000 over the years and we still have a significant amount of money to try to benefit people with ALS and other neuromuscular diseases,” Blair said. “We will continue our good work.
“We are very touched by the outpouring we receive each time.”
When the idea of doing the golf tournament was first presented to Dave, he didn’t want it to go beyond 10 years.
“We doubled that” Blair said. “My mum, sister and I think it’s been great every year and our family thinks it’s worked out well.
“I played in all of them.”
However, they felt there were other good causes in the community that could use the time and funds.
“Our community only has a limited amount of charity dollars for everyone,” Blair said, adding that he hopes people will support other events that benefit SW Resources, PHS, Parkersburg South and others.
“We don’t want to take anything away from those,” he added.
The tournament is a modified four-way race and includes food, drink and other amenities on the course.
“If you’ve always wanted to play it, this is your chance” Blair said.
The tournament usually sells out, but there are still some available this year due to cancellations.
Those interested in signing up to play can call Parkersburg Country Club at 304-295-8551. They currently have 25 teams of four registered. The tournament can accommodate 30 teams.
This year the focus will be on celebrating those who supported the tournament as well as the memory of Dave Couch.
“It was a tribute to my father and to our family,” Blair said.
Brett Dunlap can be reached at [email protected]