Carder Memorial Set for Aug. 16

WHEELING -It’s amazing what a parent passes down to their children.

In Leo Carder’s case, he got his father’s complexion.

”Leo looks a lot like Eric,” Matt Donovan said. ”It’s one of those things where you see him and see him playing with our kids … it’s special to all of us. It brings back memories.”

It’s been a little more than two years since Carder passed away, a victim of an automobile accident in May 2011.

This year also marks the third annual Eric M. Carder Memorial Golf Tournament that Donovan, along with Kevin Heller, Steve Minter and Steve Vogrin started to honor the life of their best friend.

”Eric was a special guy,” Donovan said. ”He meant a lot to his friends, family, and community. It’s a big part of why we continue to do this, to keep his memory alive.”

This year’s event will be held on Aug. 16 at Oglebay Park and will have a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start, followed by a dinner catered by Young’s Cafeteria.

For non-golfers, there is also a dinner-only option.

”Friends that knew Eric come up and just tell stories,” Donovan said. ”Kind of a gathering to see everybody.”

In its first two outings, Donovan says the event has been a hit with more than 100 golfers participating each year. He expects that total to remain the same this year.

Along with 18 holes on the Crispin course, registered golfers will also receive an Eric Carder Memorial Golf T-Shirt designed by fellow friend Joe Jerome, a golf towel that also features the logo along with a souvenir cup.

There also will be Silent Sports Memorabilia Auction featuring items from some of sports past and current super stars, including Charles Barkley, Tavon Austin, Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel.

In addition, there will be golf challenge holes such as longest drive, longest putt and shortest putt, where winners will receive gift cards to local restaurants.

The golf tournament is not the only way Carder’s memory lives on. There is an Eric M. Carder Memorial Scholarship Fund that benefits deserving, well-rounded and hardworking students at Wheeling Park High School in pursuit of their dreams of a college education.

This year’s recipients were Eleni Nardone and Alexandra Chacalos.

Companies that sponsor the tournament include United Dairy, Youngs Cafeteria, Subway, Cattrell Companies, Inc, Bordas and Bordas, The Monteverde Group LLC, The 19th Hole, Ziegenfelder Budget Saver, and Undo’s.

Bethany College, Carder’s alma mater, has also generously sponsored a four-year scholarship to Leo when he is of age.

”I’ll always remember Eirc’s smile,” Donovan recalled. ”He had a smile that would light up a room, pick you up if you were down. We still talk about that smile. Every golf tournament we have, we talk about it. Last year it was supposed to rain, but it cleared up and the sun came out. We knew Eric was taking care of us.”