WEDNESDAY MARKED the end of an era. It was also the final chapter in a well-scripted success story, one that came up huge for charity.
The 10th annual Ohio Valley?Christian?Soldiers Golf Classic in memory of Jeffrey Showalter was staged that day at Belmont Hills Country Club. It was also the final edition of a tournament which meant a great deal to many in need throughout the area.
''We're getting tired,'' said Ted Showalter, tournament organizer. He is also the father of Jeffrey, who died in a 2004 accident. ''We don't want this to start going downhill. We want this to end on a high note with a full slate of people."
That it did.
The charitable links event went out in grand style. An impressive list of celebrity golfers was highlighted by the presence of The Ohio State University's Archie Griffin. He remains one of the most highly acclaimed figures in college football annals, thanks -- in part -- to being the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner.
The Jeffrey Showalter Memorial is sponsored by the Ohio Valley Christian Soldiers, a group that boasts a laundry list of good deeds.
The tournament has raised more than $300,000 during its decade of existence. That number takes on even greater significance when noting that 100 percent of that total has all been returned to the community. As a result, many worthwhile organizations and causes have been greatly aided.
When the curtain dropped on the final Jeffrey Showalter Classic Wednesday, it evoked bittersweet feelings. The sadness of knowing it was the final event was buoyed by the fact that its 10-year run has yielded so much good throughout the Ohio Valley.