Strong tourney Photo

Larry Maiorano, and Jon, Keddy and Vinnie Vaccaro were among Bearcat supporters who participated in the Chip Strong Golf Tournament on Friday, Sept. 13 at Mozingo Lake Golf Course. An alumnus of Northwest, Vinnie Vaccaro was the first person to suit up as Bobby Bearcat.

Camaraderie slowly dissipated into light, playful heckling between friends and families carried on as start time neared 12:30 p.m. Golfers boarded their golf carts and situated their clubs in the back, waiting for the cue to head out onto the course.

The 12th annual Chip Strong Memorial Tournament was held in the afternoon of Sept. 13 at Mozingo Lake Golf Course.

Northwest director of academic success and retention Allison Strong-Hoffmann created the tournament a few years after her father’s death. She wanted to commemorate her father, his love for golf, his alma mater and Northwest’s men’s basketball program.

“We started the tournament as a way to remember my father,” Strong-Hoffman said. “He was a graduate of Northwest Missouri State, a member of the Board of Regents, a member of the Northwest Foundation and very involved in the Maryville community. He believed whole-heartedly in the importance of earning a college degree and loved the game of golf, making a memorial tournament a natural fit.”

The Chip Strong Memorial Golf Tournament serves as a fundraiser for the Northwest Foundation and Northwest’s men’s basketball team.

The money given to Northwest’s men’s basketball program goes toward providing scholarships for student athletes who had not completed their degrees but have used up their athletic eligibility. Because the tournament fundraises in part for Northwest basketball, many players made an appearance at the end of the tournament.

Northwest’s athletic director Andy Peterson said the event was a good way for past and present Northwest players to meet and connect.

“At the end of the whole thing we have the teams come out at 5:30 or so and that way they can say thank you and interact with some of the sponsors and the teams that played and honestly to reconnect too,” Peterson said. “A lot of the basketball alumni come back and play, so it’s a way for them to connect with the current players.”

To further establish Northwest’s men’s basketball program at the event, golfers could also take photos with the 2017 and 2019 men’s basketball national championship trophies.

Entry fees for the tournament were $125 per golfer. Golfers could make additional monetary donations by choosing a level of sponsorship ranging from $100 to $2,000 when registering for the event.

The funds raised by the event have not yet been distributed.

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