ShareThis Page
Golf keeps alive the memory of a ‘great kid’ |

Golf keeps alive the memory of a ‘great kid’

Ashley Gerwig
| Thursday, July 8, 2004 12:00 a.m

On the evening of April 26, 1997, 12-year-old Rachel Mogielski was watching hockey great Mario Lemieux play what was supposed to be his last game as a Pittsburgh Penguin, and looking forward to the start of softball season in two days.

Although she had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes a year earlier, the Harmony and Evans City Elementary sixth-grader had been able to lead a relatively normal, active life, helped by daily shots of insulin.

That life, however, ended in the early hours of April 27, 1997. Rachel, as a result of complications from diabetes, died in her sleep.

“It’s the worst thing that can happen to any parent,” said her dad, Robert “Moe” Mogielski. “She was a great kid.”

Hoping to make something positive come out of the tragedy, friends of the Mogielski family — which includes her mother, Ruth, and her brothers, Tony, 15, and Steven, 12 — immediately started working to come up with a way to remember Rachel, and help others.

The result was the Rachel A. Mogielski Scholarship Fund, and on July 17, for the seventh consecutive year, a golf outing will be held to raise money for the fund.

To date, the fund has given out more that $18,000 in scholarships to students from school districts across the area, including North Allegheny, North Hills and Seneca Valley, where Rachel was to be part of the Class of 2003.

Students are considered based on their grades and involvement in school, community and church activities, said Clyde Gifford, co-director of the tournament.

Those areas, Mogielski said, were all important to his daughter, who enjoyed school, helping others and playing softball and soccer. She also was an avid Penguin fan, always rooting for her favorite player, Jaromir Jagr.

“She liked Jagr, and I liked Lemieux,” Mogielski said. “We used to argue back and forth about who was better.”

Gifford, who has known the Mogielski family for years, said he is happy that the fund is in place. Each year, the event has grown, both bringing out more golfers and raising more money. For example, in its first year, 24 golfers raised $500. Last year, 196 golfers raised $8,000.

“It not only keeps Rachel’s memory alive, but it also helps other kids who want to continue their education,” he said. “It’s nice to be able to do both.”

Mogielski said his family is touched by the fact that so many work so hard to organize the golf outing and run the scholarship fund.

“It’s always good to know that Rachel is remembered,” he said. “It means a lot to us.”

Additional Information:

If you go

What: Rachel A. Mogielski Scholarship Fund Golf Outing

When: July 17, start times at 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Where: Lake Vue North Golf Course, Route 8, Butler

Cost : $60, includes food and chance at numerous prizes, including a Jaguar donated by Bobby Rahal Motors.

Contact: For more information, call John Bulger at (800) 689-8319. To make a donation, make checks payable to the Rachel A. Mogielski Scholarship Fund and send it to John Bulger, 108 Pine Street, Zelienople, PA 16063.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.