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Annual golf tournament gears up for ninth year in honor of Jeremy Krencik

Jeremy Krencik, nicknamed Jer-Dog, was a very active young boy at Eden High School, involving himself in plenty of activities around the Southtowns. He played lacrosse, soccer, golf and even rode motorcross.

The 14-year-old really found a liking to golf, taking lessons with the Hook A Kid On Golf program at the Town of Hamburg Department of Youth, Recreation and Senior Services. So when Krencik passed away untimely and tragically in March of 2006, his mother, Sheryl Hage, knew exactly what she wanted to do keep her youngest son’s memory alive.

“When Jeremy was killed in March of 2006, that spring I thought I really wanted to do a benefit or something,” said Hage, who laid her son to rest after he died in a snowmobile accident. “He really liked the Hook A Kid On Golf program at the Hamburg Golf Course. He did it for a couple of years and loved it.”

Formerly known as the Hamburg Golf Course, 18 Mile Creek Golf Course has been the home of the Jeremy “Jer-Dog” Krencik Memorial Golf Tournament since it began in 2006.

This year’s tournament is Aug. 9, beginning at 3:30 p.m. with registration. Lunch will be held outside at the clubhouse and a Chinese auction with various themes will also be held.

The tournament is scheduled for a 5 p.m. shotgun start.

Now in its ninth year, proceeds of the tournament goes to the Hook A Kid On Golf program. Hage said that the tournament has raised up to $50-60,000 during the first eight years.

“I just wanted to raise money for other children who are not capable of getting the funds for it, or for children whose parents aren’t into golf and never got their kids into the sport,” said Hage, who helped begin the tournament with her mother, Jean.

Hook A Kid On Golf is a junior program that helps children of different ages and skill levels to play and love the game of golf. Krencik was an active participant in the program.

“Jeremy was an A student and loved life,” Hage said. “He did motorcross, lacrosse, he played soccer and he had a ton of friends. Very well-liked by teachers and students.”

Hage has been able to raise money for underprivileged children to join out of town tournaments and play with new golf equipment with the funds from the memorial golf tournament.

“We’ve raised a lot of money and had a lot of fun doing it,” she said.

“Sheryl has always been able to get great participation in the tournament, from my impression,” said Luke Sullivan, recreation supervisor who inherited the annual golf tournament when he began managing the 18 Mile Creek Golf Course four years ago. “Right from year one she’s been able to get a lot of people to play.”

The Jeremy “Jer-Dog” Krencik Memorial Golf Tournament runs two tournaments at the same time: one on the front nine and one on the back nine. Up to 140 golfers can participate in the tournament. Hage said about 100 golfers attend on a yearly basis.

The format is a four-person scramble. Prizes are awarded to participants for Best Group Score, Longest Drive and Closest to the Pin. There will also be a Casino Hole.

Whether you are competing in the golf tournament or not, everyone is invited to the Eden Ale House for award presentations, food and refreshments at a $40 cost to reflect on the fun everyone had during the tournament and to respect the life that Krencik lived.

“The golfers understand that Jeremy is why his friends and family do this every year,” said Sullivan. “Jeremy was in our youth golf programs. He liked it a lot. And after his untimely death, his friends and family thought this was a good way to remember him.”

Two years after Krencik passed, his older brother, Chris, passed away from bacterial meningitis in 2008. He turned 25 while in the hospital, donating his organs through Unyts. Hage runs an annual event in his honor, as well, handling a blood drive every summer.

“We’ve had tremendous turnouts for the blood drive,” Hage said. “This year alone we saved 64 lives through blood donations.”

Jeremy and Chris have two siblings: Chelsea, who is Jeremy’s twin sister, and Josh, who is the oldest of Hage’s children.

Chris is also survived by his son, Chris Jr., who was just two months old when his father passed.

Sponsorship and donation opportunities include $25 for a Tee or Green Sign, gift baskets for the drawings and more. Anyone wishing to sponsor and donate should contact John Wicka at 863-3756. Registration ended July 31.

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