Nearly 90 people pulled out their snow boots and golf clubs on Saturday to take part in the 2nd Annual Chili Golf Classic at Upper St. Clair's three-hole golf course.
Ryan McCleaster, assistant director of recreation & leisure services of the Community & Recreation Center (CRC), is the brainchild behind the event. He and his team were out on the course at 6 a.m., clearing the snow at all nine holes so players could tee off. They did so, as more snow was falling.
"It doesn't matter how many hours I put in and how cold I got. It helps the special needs programs," McCleaster said. "It'll be worth it in the end to see those kids."
Proceeds benefit the Special Needs Active Programs (SNAP). The CRC wants to raise enough money to offer free programs to children with special needs. And the players all agreed; the reason they were playing golf in subfreezing temperatures was to help the children.
"It's a good cause and I'm happy to be here to support the kids," George Elish, of Cecil, said.
Plus, it gave the players an early start to the golf season.
"We are golf enthusiasts," Jeremy Ringhoff, of Imperial, said.
"We try to play every month of the year," Mark DiSora, of Upper St. Clair, said.
"It was interesting. There was more snow than last year. I did a sleigh ride off of the last hole," Josh Riggenbach, of Slippery Rock, said.
Each golfer received a goodie bag filled with coupons and orange golf balls (easier to keep track of in the white stuff).
"It was a lot of fun," Greg Smith, of Moon, said. "You know how eskimos have 36 words for snow? I think I played in 32 kinds today, fluffy, sticky, icey."
"It was a challenging course," Bruce Sartary, of Castle Shannon, said.
"The greens needed to be rolled," Ringhoff joked.
After nine holes, players warmed up inside the McLaughlin Run Road Recreation Center with chili and Spicy Baja Chicken Soup courtesy of StonePepper's.
"They had two kinds of soup and they were both fantastic," Aaron Mansfield, a student at Waynesburg University, said.
"We're apprecicative of all of our customers and this is our chance to give back," Barb Joyce, owner of StonePepper's and resident of Upper St. Clair, said.
"It gives us a chance to come out and have a lot of fun," Jeff Joyce, owner of StonePepper's and resident of Upper St. Clair, said. "And we get to contribute the food to a good, charitable cause."
If you missed out on this year's event, don't worry, a 3rd Annual Chili Golf Classic is expected take place next January.