BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The 5th Annual United Hospital Center (UHC) Pro-Am took place on Monday at the Pete Dye Golf Club in Bridgeport, and for this tournament, local participants got the chance to play alongside pro golfers.
The annual event, hosted by the WVU Medicine UHC in collaboration with the United Health Foundation (UHF) and its title sponsor, Blaine Turner Advertising (BTA), helps raise money for the UHC, allowing it to address different needs at the facility each year.
27 teams participated, with each team consisting of four amateurs and one professional golfer.
“We’re playing for something today, and then we’re also playing obviously to generate a lot of money for the hospital,” Brad Fritsch, pro golfer and owner of Red Rooster Golf, said.
Each year, UHC chooses a different dedicated cause for event funds to go toward. By doing this, the hospital center is able to provide for different needs that patients at the hospital may have across the different departments. This year, all of the proceeds from this tournament will go towards cancer patients that receive care at the Cecil B. Highland Jr. and Barbara Highland Cancer Center at the United Hospital Center.
The funds will help UHC to support its cancer patients in several different ways. Some of the methods of support will include gas cards for patients that need assistance getting to-and-from appointments, wigs for those suffering from hair loss and compression sleeves to help prevent patients’ arms from swelling as a result of different treatments.
“There are so many needs that our patients have,” Dr. David Hess, the president and CEO of the WVU Medicine United Hospital Center, said. “It’s financially devastating to go through something like cancer, and we wanna make sure that we’re here to provide for anything that our patients need as they seek treatment at the United Hospital Center.”
Hess also said that UHC actually had to turn down some people from this year’s event because of the high volume of sign-ups that were received. “We appreciate the community’s love and support of the hospital, and this is just such an amazing event,” he said.
Sarah Rogers, the president of Blaine Turner Advertising, said that this annual tournament started off as “just an idea” that was proposed by the former CEO of UHC. When the possibility of BTA serving as the title sponsor for this annual event came up, Rogers said that “it was a no brainer ’cause they’re such a fabulous partner with us.”