St. Edward Graduate and Lakewood Resident Adam Klepek Receives CTCC Scholarship

VALLEY CITY, Ohio – Two of the major objectives of the Cleveland Touchdown Club Charities, Inc. is to work to raise awareness and money for its organization. In turn, the CTCC is giving more college scholarships (five $1,000 scholarships in the academic year of 2015-2016) to first-year college students, more youth and high school football program field and equipment grants (increased from one per year to two in 2014-2015) and sent 30 at-risk youths from the Berea Guidestone/ Berea Children's Home to a Youth Player Development Camp from July 13-15 in Berea.

The CTCC celebrated its success on Thursday, July 16 at its annual Gene Hickerson Memorial Golf Outing at Coppertop at Cherokee Hills in Valley City. A record 34 foursomes, 27 celebrities, including Cleveland Browns Hall of Famer Paul Warfield, a slew of CTCC members, sponsors, volunteers, scholarship award winners and their families and friends of the organization enjoyed a round of golf and a dinner that raised more than $20,000.

"We were extremely pleased with the turnout and the generosity of so many people who are willing to embrace our motto [Giving Youth a Sporting Chance]," said CTCC President Anthony "Tony" Dick. "A number of people stepped up again this year and it will definitely give us a shot in the arm as we try to help others who are working hard to provide opportunity for youth in the sport of football.

"Everyone had a great time and already began asking when next year's outing is scheduled," continued Dick. "From our members, to our guests, to our celebrities and sponsors to the scholarship award winners, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts."

Five recently graduated high school students from Northeast Ohio were the highlight of the day. Lucas Fulop (Berkshire H.S./ University of Akron), Raelene Jones (Bedford H.S./ University of Mount Union), Adam Klepek (St. Edward H.S./ Ohio University), Madison Pihlblad (Amherst Marion Steele H.S./ Bowling Green State University) and Julie Szabo (Amherst Marion Steele H.S./ Bowling Green State University) each received a $1,000 CTCC scholarship to continue their education.

Fulop supported the Cardinal H.S. football team as its videographer for two years. He stated the opportunity allowed him to be at every football game and contribute to the team and his school. He went on to say that it gave him an opportunity to watch his friends play football and that the memories will last him a lifetime. At the University of Akron, Fulop plans to major in corrosion engineering.

Jones supported the Bedford H.S. football program as a member of its band. She also contributed to the Bedford community as a youth soccer coach. She served as the band president, participated in the Ohio Music Education Association Solo/ Ensemble and Large Group Adjudication and logged countless hours of community service. An outstanding soccer and softball player in high school, Jones plans to run track at Mt. Union and major in biochemical engineering.

Klepek supported the St. Edward football program as a student manager and student coach after a concussion ended his playing career. He also served as a Student ambassador. Very involved in the community of Lakewood, Klepek took part in a number of community service opportunities such as working at a local food bank and as a vacation bible study teacher. He plans to major in sport management at OU.

Pihlblad supported the Amherst Steele H.S. football program as a student athletic trainer and will take those skills with her as she plans to major in nursing at Bowling Green State University. She additionally worked with the Lorain County Special Olympics program and was an All-Lorain County soccer student-athlete for the Comets.

Szabo also supported the Steele H.S. football program as a student athletic trainer and joined Pihlblad on the Comet soccer team. She will take the skills that she garnered in the athletic training room to BGSU as she plans to major in athletic training. Szabo feels that her athletic training experience with Comet Head Trainer Kayla West had a profound affect on her and now wants to take it to the next level.

"We have increased the number of scholarships last year, and this year we needed to do it again because we had five really great candidates," said Dick. "Each of the young men and women who received a scholarship were extremely deserving and displayed a family need. We are happy we could help them and wish them all the luck and success in all of their future endeavors."

In March, the CTCC awarded 5,000 field and equipment grants to both the Elyria Youth Football League and Euclid High School. Those programs were both recognized at the annual National Football Foundation (NFF)/ CTCC Scholar-Athlete Awards dinner at LaCentre in Westlake.