PNW 38th Annual Golf Outing swings for scholarships


Steven Petty

Michael Peterson, PNW information systems programmer, takes a swing at the outing.

The 38th Annual Powers-Purdue Northwest Golf Outing raised $50,000 for athletic scholarships across all the sports this year.

John Friend, director of athletics emeritus, said the event was a success thanks to Julie Wiejak, women’s volleyball head coach, Randy Wexter, men’s golf head coach, Rhonda Lanfear, athletics secretary and Rick Costello, athletics director.

“The last couple of years we changed the emphasis a little bit, it has become more of a departmental effort. It is not just a one-man show anymore,” Friend said.

The event was held on June 18, hosted by the Briar Ridge Country Club. PNW students and staff participated in outing, along with some of the event sponsors. The event offers three tiers of sponsorship with increasing benefits.

PNW Pride sponsors such as John Friend, the PNW bookstore and Spark Marketing donate $1,500 or more. Black & Gold sponsors such as Hammond Machine Works, the Purdue Northwest Alumni Community and Strack & Van Til donate $2,500 or more. Captain’s Circle sponsors such as Local 41 Laborers in Munster, Community Healthcare Systems Community Hospital in Munster and NIPSCO donate $5,000 or more.

Friend said the history of the outing began with a phone call from Don Powers, who helped develop then-Purdue Calumet and whom the Powers building is named after, to himself suggesting the idea. Unsure of what exactly it would entail, Powers took him to meet Joe Williamson, a then-employee of Briar Ridge Country Club in Schererville. There they agreed on the vision that set the event for what it is today.

The first golf outing was held at the Briar Ridge Country Club, which was not fully open, in 1981. Friend said that the participants that attended the first event had to stay on golf carts and on the path since the country club was still under construction.

Since its inception, the event has expanded to include raffles, lunch on the golf course and local sponsors.

Scott Sparks, class of 1998 alumni and sponsor of three years, donated over $1,500. Sparks played basketball at then-PUC from 1994-98 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016.

There is a lot of hard work and determination that goes into being an athlete at the collegiate level. It is important to reward individuals with this work ethic with the opportunity to attend college as a reward of that work and determination,” Sparks said.

The second golf outing fundraiser will be held on Sept. 10 at the Sand Creek Country Club.