Golf Tournament Raises Money for LHS Scholarships in Memory of 2007 Graduate, Brett Williamson
Posted On:
Sunday, October 08, 2017
Brett with his sister, Leah
Brett with his sister, Leah

Brett Williamson, a 2007 Ludlow High School graduate, had a rare form of courage- one that allowed him to live his life to the fullest, and not let his opponent- cystic fibrosis - dim his dreams.  He never focused on the fact that he faced daily challenges others could never imagine, but rather faced every day with a positive attitude  and the determination to make it the best day it could be.

Since his death, on July 14th, the morning of his 28th birthday, it is the memories of Brett’s courage, humor, easy-going attitude and love of sports - especially golf and basketball - that now, not only brings a sense of comfort to his family and friends, but also is their motivation to honor his memory. This was extremely evident on Saturday, October 7th, when Brett’s love of golf was the driving force at the first Brett Williamson Memorial Scholarship Par 3 Challenge, sponsored by the Ludlow Country Club (LCC) raising close to $10,000.

Mike Bechard , Ludlow Country Club Golf Professional explained, “Brett was a pivotal part of the LCC. He worked here for 12 years- the last five as the Assistant Golf Professional- and so the members wanted to keep his name alive- and what better way than to sponsor a golf tournament. It is our hope that the proceeds will enable us to award two scholarships in his memory to Ludlow High School graduates this year- one for a student on the basketball team and one for a student on the golf team.”

Brett’s parents, William and Kathleen Williamson, are very grateful for this outpouring of kindness to keep their son’s memory alive.  “Brett’s love of golf started at the age of two when he was given a set of Fisher Price plastic golf clubs,” shared his mother, an 6th grade Reading Teacher at Baird Middle School in Ludlow. “He would pick up those little clubs and hit the golf balls around the house for hours. His love of golf was a huge part of who Brett was, so having this tournament - and the scholarships - to keep his memory alive, means more to us than words can express.”

When asked to share his thoughts about Brett, Bechard spoke about his assistant golf pro with admiration, pride and fondness, “Brett was a quiet, funny, likable young man who loved golf and basketball.  He didn’t have a mean bone in his body - he was very respected by all members and co-workers.  He never complained, and always gave 110 %. He didn’t allow cystic fibrosis to change his positive outlook.”

After a brief hesitation, and a with a smile, Bechard, added, “I can honestly say I never saw Brett get mad- unless of course he missed a shot on the golf course!”

Many of Brett’s friends were on hand to support the tournament and share memories of times spent with him on and off the golf course. Ryan Greene spoke for many when he stated, “Brett means a lot to all of us. I’m really glad we all got out there - having fun like this is just the way Brett would like to do it.  We all miss him - we miss him a lot.”

Kurt Anderson LHS Golf Coach remembered Brett with great fondness, “Brett started varsity all 4 years and became a captain of the team as well. He led by example, never missed a practice or match and worked hard to improve every year.  He was named to the All Western MA First Team, his senior year and went on to play at Westfield State College.”

Anderson also coached Brett on the LHS freshmen basketball team, “He was an excellent shooting guard and gave his best effort each day.  He was an unselfish player, and cared about all of his teammates. He never complained- not even about the running, although it wasn’t easy for him physically.”

“Brett was just an all around awesome young man,” concluded Anderson. “I enjoyed our friendship after he graduated from LHS. Everyone loved him. He will be missed.”

Tim Brillo, LHS Athletic Director “I was teaching PE when Brett was at LHS. Brett was an outstanding young man who had a passion for golf and basketball, more importantly he was a great teammate. I coached Brett's sister Leah in basketball;  she suffers from cystic fibrosis as well. With many athletes looking for reasons not to succeed Brett and Leah never made excuses or looked for the easy way out, making them leaders on the teams they played.”

Those who knew Brett agreed that one legacy he leaves behind is that he never stopped to think about all that could go wrong, rather focusing on all that could go right.  It was his positive attitude, love of life, and never give up attitude that brought his family, friends, and LCC members together to honor not only Brett’s memory, but how he lived his life.

“I am so proud that Brett had such a huge positive impact on so many people,” shared his mother.  “Each day without him is difficult- we miss him so much.  We hope that events such as this will be a reminder of Brett’s life, and if someone faces obstacles in their life they will face them with courage and a huge smile---just like he did.”

After a brief pause and with tears in her eyes his mother continued,  “This tournament and subsequent scholarships named in Brett's memory will assure that his legacy lives on for many years. I can’t thank the Ludlow Country Club, and especially Mike Bechard, enough for this honor to our son - the lefty golfer, who never gave up.”

*Results from the tournament-

Ladies First Place with a score of 62 - Betty Dubois

Mens First Place with a score of 53 - Timmy Skorka

Joe Nowak Par 3 Challenge winner - John Schinabeck

Brett's Family: Cousin- Megan Williamson, Uncle- Ray Williamson, Best friend- Ben Pellegrini, Mother - Kathy Williamson, Father- Billy Williamson, Cousin - Jenna Williamson

 Ludlow Public Schools teachers- Augusta Fialho, Gregg Therrien,  Teryy Shotland, Kathy Williamson, Kathy Lynch, Frank Murray

 Brett's friends and parents at the end of the tournament. 

 Mike Bechard, LCC Golf Pro, Jeff Langone, LCC President & Joseph Grasso, Tournament Chairman

 Brett's mother sitting on a Memorial Bench in Brett's honor donated  by his friends.( located at the 4th tee).

Photos courtesy of Rsemary Jorge

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