On Aug. 16, 2009, Colin Speta was boating with friends on Chautauqua Lake when a wave crashed into the boat and knocked him backward into the water.
He wasn't seen alive again.
In the four agonizing days that followed, it seemed as though every rescue crew in the county came together to aid in the search and rescue mission. By the time his body was recovered early in the morning of Aug. 20, two dozen area volunteer fire departments and seven other agencies had taken part in the search.
To give back to those who gave so much of their time and effort, Speta's family has organized a memorial golf tournament each year since his death. Funds raised from the tournament go to support one of the local departments that helped the cause during those difficult days in August 2009.
''Our family wanted to continue supporting the agencies and the departments that assisted in Colin's search," said the late Speta's sisters, Nicole Allen and Melissa Anderson. ''A lot of our focus is that you never know where you're going to be when you're going to need the help and assistance of all of these people, and that was something we'd never in a million years dreamed of.''
The first tournament was held just over a month after Colin's death and raised $1,250 for the Ashville Volunteer Fire Department. Since then, the tournament has raised over $10,000 for local agencies.
This year, the Colin Speta Memorial Golf Tournament will be held at Breezewood Golf Links on July 21 and will benefit the Celoron Volunteer Fire Department, one of the many involved in the search for Colin.
Check-in will be at Breezewood Golf Links, Dean School Road, Falconer at 8 a.m., and tee off will be at 9 a.m. The cost will be $200 per foursome, and includes 18 holes of golf, cart, a continental breakfast, hot dogs and accompaniments at the turn, and a BBQ dinner after the event. Also included this year is a $10,000 hole-in-one prize, a prize drawing and a Chinese auction.
In addition to golf teams, the family is also seeking donations for prizes and Chinese Auction items. To register, donate or for more information, please call 716-499-3513 or visit www.colinspeta.com.