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25 Years of Funding Excellence: Ted Mengel, DIY Event Holder

My father, Edward Mengel, was simply an exceptional man and father. Throughout his accomplished career in sales and marketing, he became known for his incredible work ethic, his gregarious personality, his dedication to his family and yes, his love of the sport of golf. He supported his kids unconditionally and always set aside time for our family. From as far back as I can remember, he took the entire family to the beach for a week each year. First it was just my dad, my mom and the kids, but eventually the spouses were welcomed in and finally, the grandchildren as well. We never missed a week. And this love for us kids translated into an unconditional belief in our capabilities and led us to all work hard to make him proud.

Ted’s father Edward was an avid golfer, thus inspiring him to create a golf tournament in his memory after he passed away.

And oh, the golf. My dad exposed me to the game from a very early age, and I was lucky enough to spend a significant amount of time with him out on the course over the years. After he retired in 1987 he spent even more time outdoors, golfing and playing tennis. But in early 1995 he began to experience back pain, and by the time he went to the doctor on May 9, cancer had spread throughout his body. He died one month later, on June 9 at age 66.

The wound left by my father’s passing is raw to this day, and as the years have passed I have become ever more committed to finding a cure for cancer so no one has to experience what my family went through when we lost our dad. Seven or eight years ago, while at the Tour Championship with two friends, inspiration hit me and I announced that I was going to start a golf tournament in memory of my dad. With that simple statement, the Edward Mengel Memorial Golf Tournament was born.

Our choice to raise funds for the V Foundation was a natural one; my dad had always admired Jim Valvano, and the foundation’s commitment to finding treatments and cures for cancer align perfectly with my family’s goals for the tournament.

The tournament is a family affair now; my mother, siblings, wife and four children have all joined me in the planning process. The event has grown from 36 golfers in year one to 132 on a sold out course in 2018. This year was a truly multigenerational affair, with many of my children’s friends joining my friends out on the course. We have been fortunate to be able to raise over $50,000 over the six years that we have hosted the tournament, growing from a $2,800 affair in our first year to over $14,000 in 2018. Our choice to raise funds for the V Foundation was a natural one; my dad had always admired Jim Valvano, and the foundation’s commitment to finding treatments and cures for cancer align perfectly with my family’s goals for the tournament.

To me, a world without cancer looks exactly like Jim’s quote: “We need your help. I need your help. We need money for research. It may not save my life, but it may save my children’s lives. It may save the life of someone you love.” Our family will continue to host our tournament year after year until we reach the day when no one will ever lose their father to cancer again. I truly believe that with the help of the V Foundation, that day will come during my or my children’s lifetimes, and we are honored to be a part of the community who is helping the foundation and the researchers they fund reach that goal.