’s been four years since George Stramback has heard the smart
aleck jokes and heart warming laughs he and his son, Stephen,
shared when golfing. Monday afternoon, George didn’t golf with his
son, but using Stephen’s clubs made his group of fellow golfers
feel more like a fivesome rather than a
It’s been four years since George Stramback has heard the smart aleck jokes and heart warming laughs he and his son, Stephen, shared when golfing.
Monday afternoon, George didn’t golf with his son, but using Stephen’s clubs made his group of fellow golfers feel more like a fivesome rather than a foursome.
”This is my continuing connection with my son,” George said. “I feel close to him when I’m playing the game he really loved.”
The 4th Annual Stephen Michael Stramback Golf Tournament teed off Monday morning at Eagle Ridge Golf Course. Stramback, who attended Live Oak and was an avid golfer , was killed in a car accident May 19, 1999, at the young age of 19. His family and friends have turned a deeply saddening loss and struggling experience, into an enjoyable day of golf, and giving back to the community in Stephen’s name.
Golfers from all over the country checked in at 10:30 a.m., and got some practice in at a pineapple putting contest to go along with the “Luau” theme.
Jeff Stramback, one of Stephen’s three older brothers, is a regular in the tournament, and said he use to make fun of golf before his brother got him into it.
“I use to think golf was silly, but ever since Steve got me into the game I’ve loved it,” Jeff said. “It’s really nice to see something in my brother’s name that keeps his spirit alive.”
The all day tournament included a sit down dinner and silent auction following the 18 holes of golf. Along with many signed balls and jersey’s from the San Francisco Giants and Forty Niners, Guglielmo and Pedrizzetti wineries donated cases of wine to be auctioned off.
There was also a ton of golf equipment and memorabilia available to bid on. Sandi Stramback, Stephen’s mother, said even though it has been a rough year for the economy, they still received a lot of support from the community.
“We couldn’t do this without our family and friends,” she said. “Even with the challenges we faced financially, we didn’t give up, and we still managed to give out five scholarships.
Part of the goal of the tournament is to turn the tragedy of the loss of their son, into future success for other golfers and members of the community. The five scholarships generated by the tournament, will go to golfers at Live Oak, Gilroy High and Gavilan College. In the spirit of helping others, the SMS Scholarship Fund has also teamed up with the Morgan Hill Las Madres 99, to help provide mothers with car seats who can’t obtain one otherwise.
Jennifer Burch, the oldest sibling of the Stramback clan, helps head the “A Safe Ride Home” project, and after the loss of her own “baby” brother, even though he was 19, compelled her to promote seat belt safety to others.
“Since we’ve lost a loved one, we wanted to make sure every baby has a safe ride home,” Burch said.
After the sunset and the last award was given, the Stramback family said they’re gearing up for next year, and keeping their son’s spirit alive by doing what he loved most -– golf.