January 25, 2005

Larry Lehrke Memorial Bocce Tournament

2004 Bocce TournamentSt. Augustine High School will hold its 11th annual Larry Lehrke Memorial Bocce Tournament this Saturday, January 29, at Sunset Park (across West Mission Bay Drive from the Hyatt Islandia Hotel). I went to last year's event, where I shot this picture of co-organizer Ross Provenzano speaking to all of the players right before the opportunity drawing began.

Larry LehrkeA 1966 graduate of St. Augustine, Staff Sgt. Stanley Lawrence "Larry" Lehrke was aboard an Air Force gunship that was shot down in 1972 during the Vietnam War. He was listed as Missing In Action from then until his remains were recovered in 1993 and identified in 1994. Several of Larry's classmates set up a scholarship fund in his honor at Saints, and they eventually started the bocce tournament as its main fund raiser. I was a year behind Larry at Saints, but I never knew him very well. My sister Diane and his sister Marcie were friends, though, as they were grade school classmates at St. Therese. Larry's picture is from the 1966 Saints yearbook.

St. Didacus Elementary School alumsThe tournament will begin at 9 a.m. with registration and opportunity drawing ticket sales. Mixed doubles teams will be formed by a blind draw, with the bocce play beginning immediately thereafter. The drawing will be held after a lunch break, then the day wraps up with championship play and awards presentation. For more information or to donate prizes for the drawing, call Ross Provenzano at 858-488-2734 or e-mail rosspro@san.rr.com. The bottom photo was taken at last year's event and it features a bunch of people who all attended St. Didacus School, including me on the right.

Posted at 2:30 PM in In Memoriam