05/28/2010

Jozwiak Celebrity Golf Classic celebrates 20 years

Annual event benefits WVU Children’s Hospital

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Despite growing up in Baltimore and currently residing in Winter Haven, Fla., Brian Jozwiak, former All-America lineman at West Virginia University, refers to his annual summer trek to the Morgantown area as “coming home.”

Each year, the Brian Jozwiak and Pepsi Celebrity Golf Classic raises money for the Child Life program at WVU Children’s Hospital. It has raised $225,000 since its inception in 1990.

Jozwiak was playing for former WVU Football Coach Don Nehlen when he first visited WVU Children’s Hospital. “My first time was truly an eye-opening experience. We tend to take our life and health for granted, and when you are a college football player, one has an attitude of invincibility,” Jozwiak said. “We always talk about the fight to the finish in the game of football and here we were face to face with little kids, some fighting the ultimate battle, one of survival. Yet, when then saw us come in, they perked right up. They are fighters, and to spend time with the parents and the staff at the hospital made the visits that much more special.”

Jozwiak and his wife Johna, a Fairmont native, got to experience the patient side of WVU Children’s Hospital with the birth of their son Thor in 1992. One month later, the Jozwiaks brought Thor back to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a potentially fatal respiratory infection in infants.

“We brought him back to the only place we would take our most precious child, WVU Children’s Hospital. We were so very impressed with the way in which we were treated - no different from anyone else that was there - everyone gets the very best,” Jozwiak said. “Thor is now 17 and an awesome young man with a bright future. We have Children’s Hospital to thank for that. The relationship we have through the golf tournament allows us to continue to support them and what they do each and every day.”

Jozwiak said he comes back to “the great state of West Virginia” a week before each tournament to visit and thank all the people who make it possible. He said it is a trip he and his family anticipate with joy and enthusiasm.

“Every year, a bunch of the doctors and nurses come and play in the outing. We get to hang with them and find out why our WVU Children’s Hospital is the best kids’ facility around,” he said. “I truly love WVU Children’s Hospital and all that they do and stand for up there.”

This year’s golf tournament is June 25 at the Green Hills Country Club in Fairmont. It will kick off with a shotgun start at 11:30 a.m. The format will be a six-man scramble. One of the team’s members will be a celebrity. The cost to participate is $150 per person or $1,000 for a corporate team.

For more information on the Brian Jozwiak and Pepsi Celebrity Golf Classic, contact Andrea Parsons, WVU Children’s Hospital development officer, at 304-598-4346 ext. 5 or parsonsa@wvuh.com.

For more information on WVU Children’s Hospital, see www.wvukids.com.
 

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For more information:
Angela Jones, HSC News Service, 304-293-7087
jonesan@wvuh.com
asj: 05-28-10

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