Parents dedicate Mt. Odin playground to their son, Lucas Murphy
Lucas Paul Murphy's memory lives on in the laughter of children.
Organizers of Murph's Open, a Greensburg golf outing in its 17th year, have used proceeds to buy $20,000 in equipment for a playground at the Mt. Odin recreation complex named in Murphy's memory.
Participants dedicated the playground last week.
“It's nice to know ... he's remembered, and in addition, children can play there, experience joy there,” said Murphy's mother, Linda.
Murphy, 21, a 1994 Greensburg Salem graduate and a Penn State University student, died in March 1997 in a traffic accident in Utah. At the time, he was serving a college internship in Vale, Colo.
Linda Murphy, a retired Greensburg Salem teacher, and her husband, Paul Murphy, a former district teacher, principal, administrator and football coach, donate two $2,000 scholarships annually to Greensburg Salem students in their son's memory.
The golf outing began in 1997, a few months after Murphy's death.
“A group of friends wanted to know if they could have a golf outing in his memory,” Linda Murphy said.
They organized the inaugural event.
Jennifer Yarnell Detore of Greensburg, a classmate of Lucas Murphy, then continued the tradition, with the help of Linda Murphy and others.
“She's wonderful,” Murphy said of Detore. “I just can't say enough about her.”
“Luke was one of my best friends,” Detore said. “I loved him and miss him dearly.”
Detore estimated the outings have raised a total of more than $100,000.
Classmates and friends of Lucas Murphy come from across the country to attend the golf event held during the first week of July, Linda Murphy said.
The outing has boasted a full 36 foursomes for each of the 17 years, and there is a waiting list to play, Detore said.
Detore suggested using proceeds to buy playground equipment because the outing is a family event, what Linda Murphy refers to as “a reunion.”
“There was playground equipment there, but it was for younger children,” Murphy explained.
The equipment, which was purchased late last year and installed earlier this year, is aimed to appeal to children who are 6 to 12 years old, Detore said.
Future proceeds may be used to make other improvements at the playground, Detore said.
Interest raised from the proceeds, which are kept in an account with the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County, have funded the scholarships. The scholarships began at $1,000 and have grown since.
“Education is important, and it's important to us,” Linda Murphy said.
Detore said she's glad her friend is being remembered and children are finding joy in the equipment.
“It's nice to give back and have a permanent marker there to remember him by,” she said.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.