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Armstrong annually backs Hovick Tourney

By Staff | Aug 11, 2009

ARMSTRONG – The date of the Brad Hovick Memorial Scholarship Golf Tournament is no secret in Armstrong.

Family, friends and the community turn out year after year for the annual event held at the Country Greens Golf Course on the last Saturday of July. The tournament serves as a time to remember Brad and support the scholarships which are awarded to Armstrong-Ringsted students.

“People start signing up as soon as the course is open in the spring,” said Shirley Hovick, Brad’s mother.

Brad Hovick, a 1984 graduate of A-R, was killed in a 1995 crash. In late October of that year, he was returning home when he was hit head on by another vehicle. The other driver was killed instantly. Hovick died en route to the hospital. He was the only child of Shirley and ‘Mert’ Hovick.

The idea for the golf tournament was born in 1996 by Pat and Mike Murphy, radio announcers for KSUM in Fairmont, Minn.

Shirley said she was taking cookies to the Murphys that November, something she had done for years, when the couple put forth the tournament idea and it became a reality.

At the time of his death, Brad had worked six years at Weigh-Tronix in Fairmont so had a lot of friends there as well as in Armstrong.

The tournament was born and 14 years later, $16,600 has been given away in scholarships. This past spring, $1,450 in scholarship were given to A-R students.

Shirley said Bob Rooney at Bank Midwest handles the funds for the tournament.

Any A-R senior may apply for the scholarship and Shirley said a group goes through the applications each spring.

To receive the scholarships, the recipients simply need to bring in proof of enrollment and they can use the money for food, books or whatever they need.

Shirley said at least $16,000 is in a certificate of deposit also.

“We hope to keep it going even after we’re not around,” she said.

The one-day event, which also includes raffles and an auction, brings in from $2,000 to $3,000.

The Hovicks have family and friends in Las Vegas who donate several items also.

“All golfers get a gift bag,” said Shirley, which has included anything from blenders to blankets.

“Every spring we go out west and return with a van filled with things we collected and we give them all away,” she said.

Estherville merchants also have supported the scholarship tournament.

“Wayne and Gail Mathine solicit Estherville for us and do a wonderful job,” said Shirley.

Co-owner of Country Greens, Paula Dyer, said the tournament is unlike most others in that it doesn’t have a sponsor for each hole.

There is a raffle as well as an auction. Sometimes people have donated quilts. There is also a group that makes home-made pies for auction.

The cheapest is normally around $30 with many going for as much as $90 to $100,” said Shirley.

The tournament draws its share of local participants from Armstrong, Ringsted, Estherville and Fairmont, a few come from as far away as Chicago and Shirley has a nephew who often comes from Las Vegas.