Golf event pays tribute to Pine-Richland grad, Marine veteran
David Cook's life might have been tragically cut short, but his family and friends will gather later this month to remember the Pine-Richland High School graduate at a memorial golf outing.
The David Cook Memorial Golf Outing is scheduled for Aug. 30 at Conley Resort in Penn Township, said Dan Ferguson, event organizer.
Registration opens at 11 a.m. Tee times will start at noon.
Cook, 34, of Harmony was hit and killed by a drunken driver in Economy, Beaver County, while driving home on his motorcycle in the early morning hours of July 17, 2011.
Robert Banko, 27, of Bethlehem, was driving with a suspended license and no car insurance when he crossed the center line on Route 989 and struck Cook's bike with his truck. In May 2012, Banko pleaded guilty to charges including involuntary manslaughter, accident involving death, drunken driving and driving on a suspended license and was sentenced to two and a half to five years in prison. He also was ordered to pay the cost of Cook's funeral in restitution.
Cook was a 1994 Pine-Richland High School graduate and veteran of the Marine Corps. He worked two jobs to support his family and left behind a wife and three young children, something that hit home with Ferguson.
“I have a son myself, and the whole idea of life ending so quickly, it struck a chord with me,” said Ferguson, a 1991 graduate of Pine-Richland's predecessor, Richland High School, who knew Cook from their days in school together.
So Ferguson decided to organize the golf outing to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization that aids wounded service members, but more importantly to tell stories and remember Cook for his legacy as a hard-working family man.
Ferguson organized the outing independently of Cook's family, although he said some family members plan to attend. Cook's family could not be reached for comment.
“It's a story everyone can relate to — the shortness of life — and you never know when things are going to take a drastic change,” Ferguson said. “The key takeaway of the golf outing is his legacy. Dave's legacy as a Marine and as a hard-working father deserves to be remembered.”
Rachel Farkas is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-779-6902 or firstname.lastname@example.org.