Golf and charity go hand in hand for O'Hara man
Tom Reading has spent the last three years organizing the professional golf event coming next week to the Fox Chapel Golf Club.
“It's in my blood to be involved and to be involved in something like this,” Reading said, as the Constellation Senior Players Championship prepares for its third tee off in Fox Chapel.
Golf is important to him, but in addition, the job appeals to him. He and his co-chairperson, Courtney Myhrum, have provided consistent leadership.
“We complement each other. It's been three years, but we had a lot of fun doing it,” Reading said.
“I'm passionate about it, and I like working with people who are like that.”
While the tournament has been staged at Fox Chapel for the last two years, Reading and Myhrum were once again busy as they put an emphasis on improving the tournament setting each year.
For example, some of the grandstand seating was relocated closer to trees — all the better to shade the spectators in case the weather is sweltering.
There are many small matters, but they had vice chairs to help.
Reading did double duty serving as both co-chairman and vice chairman in charge of sales and marketing.
“I've been surprised. We've had consistent sponsors,” Reading said.
The list of contacts is extensive as Pittsburgh companies got behind the tournament.
“It does challenge you. If I didn't know how to multitask before, I do now,” Reading said.
Originally from Jamestown, N.Y., Reading lived and worked in Chicago, Cleveland and Boston. He got a taste of volunteering with the U.S. Open and the 1999 Ryder Cup.
He moved to the Pittsburgh area, the hometown of his wife, Tracey, in 1989.
One of the first things he did was volunteer to increase participation in junior golf programs.
Reading was asked to be chairman of the seniors tournament when Fox Chapel Golf Club was chosen as the site by the board. Since then, he has become a member of that board.
Reading has played golf since he was 5.
His grandfather was one of his early teachers, and they played at Butler Country Club.
Reading played golf at the College of Wooster in Ohio.
He likes playing in tournaments and said the competition keeps him sharp.
Traveling to club tournaments, such as the Jamestown Links Charity event, is another way for him to enjoy golf while helping others.
Reading said the Constellation Senior Players Championship has contributed $1.5 million to local groups such as the Cooper-Siegel Community Library over the three years it has been played locally.
When this year's golf tournament is over, the last time at Fox Chapel for a while, Reading will have mixed emotions.
He does admit he will need a vacation after all those good times.
Sharon Drake is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.