Penn State Scranton Alumni Society holds annual Golf Tournament

The Linde golf team

The winner of the championship flight in this year's Penn State Scranton Alumni Society/James D. Gallagher Golf Tournament was a team headed by loyal Penn State Scranton supporter and tournament regular Eric Linde, at left, his grandson Eric Odell and two of Odell's former teammates from the Scranton Preparatory School golf team.

Credit: Darlene Markowski

The weather hasn’t been ideal of late, but the skies did cooperate for the 31st annual Penn State Scranton Alumni Society/James D. Gallagher Golf Tournament.

More than 100 golfers turned out for this year’s tournament, held June 17 at the Country Club of Scranton. The teams spent the afternoon enjoying 18 holes of captain-and-crew-style play, with just a little bit of drizzle during the final holes.

From there, the golfers convened in the clubhouse, where they were treated to a filet mignon dinner and had the chance to win numerous raffle prizes of gift cards from area businesses. Remarks were given by Penn State Scranton Alumni Society President Kathy Zielinski, Chancellor Marwan A. Wafa and Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter President and Athletic Director Jeff Mallas.

Loyal Penn State Scranton supporter and tournament regular Eric Linde, of Honesdale-based construction company Leeward Construction, fielded a team that included grandson Eric Odell and two of his former teammates from the Scranton Prep golf team. Finishing with an impressive round of 60, they took first place in the tournament’s championship flight.

With this year’s tournament proceeds, the Alumni Society has now raised about $350,000 overall for the campus during the past three decades, according to Deborah Brandt Johnson, alumni and development specialist.

“I’m thrilled and truly thankful for the efforts of the alumni society. Over the years, their fundraising has supported several initiatives, including student scholarships and the Student Hardship Fund, along with many important campus programs and projects,” Johnson said.

This year’s golf chairs were Rick Pambianco and Kathy Casarin, both of Archbald, and longtime campus friend, benefactor and Penn State alumnus Dick Walsh, of Scranton, whose efforts were responsible for the tournament finding its home at the country club more than a decade ago. His team, which included Brendan Walsh, Emily McDonnell and Jim Kearney, took second place in the tournament’s second flight.

Later in the week, at the campus’ annual Ridge View Society Dinner, Penn State Scranton alumnus and Ridge View development committee co-chair Pat Sheridan, who also golfed in the tournament, good-naturedly teased Linde for loading his team with “ringers.”

“All was in good fun. … We are longtime supporters of the tournament and of the campus itself.  We look forward to the tournament every year,” said Linde, noting he intends to bring the same team next year.

Playing in the tournament for the first time, the foursome of Brett Sullivan, Pat Nash, David Peslak and Brian Dunstone came in second place in the championship flight.

In the first flight, the team consisting of tournament namesake and former Penn State Scranton CEO James D. Gallagher, James Gallagher Jr., Paul Bergin and Brett Bergin came in first place. Finishing second was the foursome of Carmen Lopresto, Vito Castelgrande, Jeff Laabs and Steve Hnatew.

In the second flight, Carter Atkins, Tim Atkins, Peter Atkins and JR Karam came in first place, while the Walsh-led team finished second.

John Cappelloni won the closest-to-the-hole prize, and Lynn Pearl and Brett Sullivan were the longest drive winners.

The Alumni Society’s biggest annual fundraiser, the golf tournament’s proceeds have benefited student scholarships, the Student Hardship Fund and numerous campus projects, including: nursing program facilities; upgraded classrooms and labs for the science program; a leadership conference room for students; a team breakout room in the Business Building; a scoreboard for the new UGI Utilities Softball Field; the Nittany Lion sculpture; and the outdoor flex courts.

To see photos from this year's golf tournament, go to:

For more information about the Penn State Scranton Alumni Society, the Greater Scranton Penn State Chapter or any of the local alumni groups, call 570-963-2537 or email [email protected].