Mark W. Phelps '91

As a Garrettsville native, Mark came to Hiram College in the fall of 1987. During his fours years at Hiram, Mark played varsity basketball in 1987 and also played golf from 1987-1991. During Mark's senior campaign, he led the Terriers to the first league championship in 16 seasons (and the last since). Shortly after graduating from Hiram, Mark began his career in golf. In the past 15 years, Mark has served as a club professional at prestigious country clubs and public facilities throughout Northern Ohio. He currently serves as the Sales Director for the PGA Tour and The Cleveland Open, a Nationwide Tour event.

During his tenure at Portage Country Club, Mark looked for a way to give back to his community and its children. Mark and Gina both were touched by the miracle of parenthood and the grace of having healthy children. Mark and Gina knew that parenthood and their family's health should never be taken for granted, and they wanted to give back to the less fortunate. Since 2000, Mark has raised money for Akron Children's Hospital and Hattie Larlham, which is a Mantua, Ohio based organization that provides services to children and adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities (MR/DD) through community homes, home and foster care services, an integrated day care, and family care management.

Mark raises money for these organizations by playing 300+ holes of golf in one day. For the non-golfers present, it is useful to have some perspective about this feat. The professional golfers that you see on television take four to five hours to play eighteen holes of golf, and each hole typically averages 400+ yards from the tee to the hole. So, for Mark to play 300+ holes in one day, he must not only be an incredibly good golfer to minimize the number of shots he takes per hole, but he must also sprint from hole to hole! In fact, his 2000 fundraiser earned him the world record for the lowest golf score completed in the least amount of time (a 64 in just 40 minutes on all 18 holes).

To date, Mark and Gina have raised over $50,000 for the Akron Children's Hospital and Hattie Larlham. Since the inception of the golf marathons in 2000, Mark continues to get more involved with charities and children's organizations. Mark serves as a board member for The First Tee of Akron and was just given the 2004 Hattie Larlham community service award.

Mark's love of helping others will continue into the future. His newest plan is to start the first ever Garrettsville Foundation to help the community members of his home townBesides being involved with the community, Mark spends a great deal of time with his own family. He has said that there is nothing more important to him than his wife and kids, who also love all sports and the outdoors. He dreams of his boys graduating from Hiram College and enjoying their college experiences as much as he enjoyed his own.

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