On the Town at the Marathon Classic


Quiet Please! signs are held up when golfers are playing, then quiet murmurs continue as crowds follow some of the top women golfers in the world.

The 29th annual Marathon Classic presented by Owens Corning and O-I wraps up today at Highland Meadows Golf Club in Sylvania. This is the second year for Marathon as the title sponsor. It was previously the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic Presented by Kroger, Owens Corning, and O-I. Since its inception the tournament has donated over $8 million to 22 children’s charities in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, making it the area’s biggest charitable golf event.

The Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund, in honor of the tournament’s founding host, went to four high school seniors: Jamie Comstock, Ida; Zachary Swan, Waite; Erin Graves, Bowling Green, and Natalie Thomsen, Toledo Early College.

PHOTO GALLERY: Click here for photos from these events

Many folks participated in pro-ams that paired foursomes with an LPGA golfer who led their team. There was even a putting proam where twigs and branches created a miniature golf course.

13abc/PNC Pro-Am and ProMedica/Hylant/ Heidtman Steel Pro-Am were Monday at Highland Meadows. Tuesday brought out golfers for Health Care REIT/Brooks Insurance Pro-Am at Inverness Club; the Image Group Pro-Am at Sylvania Country Club, and KeyBank Putting Pro-Am at Highland Meadows.

On Wednesday’s schedule was the Fathead Celebrity Pro-Am. Thursday, Kroger Senior Day, featured Richard Petty, NASCAR Hall of Famer, signing autographs. On Friday, YP Day, the Business Networking Party at Club 14 was a highlight, and Saturday was The Blade Day and the LPGA Golf Clinic.

The Hollywood Casino Gala Dinner took place Tuesday at SeaGate Centre. Emcee was Diane Larson of WTVG-TV, Channel 13.

General chairman Jim Hoffman, president of KeyBank, said this year, with the help of Marathon, the tournament has a record purse of $1.4 million in prize money and since 1984 more than $8 million has been generated for charities.

Gary Heminger, president and CEO of Marathon Petroleum Corporation, said that as he travels the world, many people have told him that they saw the Marathon Classic on television last year. There are 140 Marathon employees who have volunteered this week.

Brian Jenkins of Hollywood Casino welcomed everyone and noted that it takes a whole community to do the event: more than 120 sponsors, 1,200-plus volunteers, over 70,000 spectators, neighborhoods, and more. LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan made a “thank you” toast to all.

Dave Holmes of WTVG-TV, Channel 13 sports, called the tournament the Sylvania Superbowl and welcomed Beatriz Recari, defending champion, joking with her about beating favorite American Paula Creamer last year. LPGA golfers who were present were introduced.

Sylvania Mayor Craig Stough and Toledo Mayor Mike Collins were there along with 1,600 fans and supporters of the Marathon Classic.

The evening included a cocktail party, a silent auction, and a live auction with Pamela Rose.

Comedian Tom Cotter, who was an America’s Got Talent finalist, made his divots on everything from Toledo to life experiences in general. Libido, an 11-member band, enticed people to crowd the dance floor. However, it was a “school-work night” for many and the Fat Head Pro-Am the next day for others, so many folks headed home.

Today, Toledo Clinic’s Championship Sunday, is the final round of the Marathon Classic and the 18th Green Closing Ceremony. The club house, the patio, the Corporate Sky Box, the Champions tent, and Club 14 are all great places to take a break. There are also children’s activities and merchandise tents and the entrance is flanked with businesses offering freebies.

Even if one is not a golfer, it is a fun place to be, walking amid trees on manicured greens, people watching, running into friends and business associates, and seeing some world class-golfers of the Ladies Professional Golf Association. So come on out and enjoy the golf, sunshine, and people.