After Steve Resch passed away from cancer at the age of 45, hundreds of mourners filled the American Legion for his service.
That same love and admiration were felt more than a year later when islanders overwhelmingly supported a golf competition in his name in the spring of 2017.
“Steve would have been shocked,” said long-time friend and event organizer John Welch. “He would have been very humble about it.”
Now in its second year, the Steve Resch Memorial Golf Tournament is slated for Saturday, May 19 at the Orcas Golf Course. The event is a fundraiser for a high school senior scholarship. The 18-hole, four-man best ball tournament starts at 8 a.m., and the cost is $133 per golfer. To sign up or become a sponsor, visit www.srmgt.org.
Growing up on Orcas Island, Resch was a three-sport athlete, salutatorian and captain of his football team. He graduated from OIHS in 1989, and went on to play football in college, where he earned a degree in business. His jerseys always bore the number 33, the same one his older brothers Tim and Jay wore before him.
“We were part of a group of friends who grew up with single moms,” Welch said. “We all turned out to be fairly athletic, played on the same teams and were studious in school.”
Welch, Resch and fellow Orcas alumni Mike St. Germain stayed best friends after high school and college and worked together for a decade at the same construction firm in Seattle. In the last weeks of his life, Resch asked that his friends create a scholarship for an Orcas High School graduate who was from a single parent home, a student-athlete and bound for university.
To fundraise for the scholarship, Welch, St. Germain, Resch’s cousin Sean Hornbrook and friend Trina Latshaw organized a memorial golf tournament last May. The event had 40 participants as well as 30 business and individual sponsors who donated money. Senior Bethany Hansen of the class of 2017 was the first recipient of the $2500 scholarship. This year, the amount has been increased to $3,300 in honor of Resch’s athletic number.
“We want to build a lasting legacy for Steve,” said Welch. “We want to make sure that folks are still coming out and enjoying the event, remembering Steve and supporting a good cause.”