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Tourney raises scholarship money

Every year since 2006, the “All for Amy” golf tournament has taken place with the proceeds going toward the “All for Amy” Scholarship Fund.

The tournament and fund were created in memory of Amy King, a Celoron native and graduate of Southwestern Central School and Jamestown Community College. King was a flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175, one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks of 9/11. She was only 29 years old when she passed away.

Several close friends from high school and college established the golf tournament and the scholarship fund in King’s honor and have since raised more than $150,000 to help provide financial support to area students furthering their education. The “All for Amy” golf tournament committee includes area residents Theresa Jackson, Tonie Wirsen, Melanie Cobb, Jennifer Peters, Jennifer Hinson, Wendy Spencer, Caryn Pace, Michelle Maher and Jen Erickson.

Recently, the committee decided to split the proceeds from the golf tournament and establish a second fund to support local charitable activities. Substantial donations have already been made to several organizations, including volunteer fire departments, the Child Advocacy Program, a Fresh Start Recovery Support Center, the Mental Health Association in Chautauqua County for PTSD Recovery for Veterans, the Winifred Crawford Dibert Boys and Girls Club of Jamestown, the WCA Foundation and the Salvation Army. Both funds are administered by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

“I think it was more to keep her spirit alive,” said Jackson, one of the committee members. “You could talk to a lot of the people in the community who knew Amy and would say, ‘Yeah, she’s amazing. She was an amazing person. Never had a bad word to say. And we just wanted to keep her in our hearts because we lost her so bad.”

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Over the course of his 27-year old life, Gannon Jackson has had the opportunity to see firsthand the impact King had on countless people in and around the community.

He has also seen how hard the “All for Amy” committee — which includes his mother, Theresa — has worked to honor her memory. And it has certainly made an impact on him.

When the annual “All for Amy” golf tournament was canceled in 2020 due to the unforeseen circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, he wanted to do everything he could to find a way to make a difference.

And his idea turned out to be a huge success.

Under his direction, the first “All for Amy” slow-pitch softball tournament was held last month at Betts Park in Warren, Pennsylvania.

The two-day weekend event featured an 11-team men’s tournament and a 12-team coed tournament with teams traveling to participate and compete from as far as Niagara Falls.

Icyy Ink took the top spot in the men’s tournament while Front Door Sliders came out on top in the coed bracket. Both teams were primarily based out of Warren.

But, more importantly, about $3,700 was raised to benefit the “All for Amy” funds.

“It was tough that they were forced to cancel their golf tournament,” he said. “I wanted to make sure they had something. … It means the world to me, because these girls, they have done everything for me. Everything from babysitting me, changing my diapers, helping me with school, those ladies have done everything for me. … I want to try and double the softball tournament next year. We raised $3,700 this year. I want to try and go toward maybe $8,000-$10,000 next year. Hopefully, they can have the golf tournament and the softball tournament, raise a ton of money and give it to the scholarships and the kids (and other charitable organizations) who need it.”

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