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Golf tournament to honor legacy of former basketball player, local resident

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Dave Galle (42) goes up for a layup while playing for DePauw University in 1986. Several of Galle's former teammates and his coach at DePauw came up with the idea of a memorial golf classic after Galle died last summer.
Dave Galle (42) goes up for a layup while playing for DePauw University in 1986. Several of Galle's former teammates and his coach at DePauw came up with the idea of a memorial golf classic after Galle died last summer. SUBMITTED PHOTO

IT was only a few days after Dave Galle died that the wheels were set in motion for an upcoming golf tournament.

Several of Galle’s teammates and his coach from his days playing basketball at DePauw University were talking after his funeral and thought about a way to honor the longtime Columbus resident. They came up with the Dave Galle Memorial Golf Classic, which will be Monday at Otter Creek.

“It was a group of guys after the funeral that we hadn’t seen in years, including coach (Mike) Steele,” said Jim Sandgren, a teammate and fraternity brother of Galle at DePauw. “We started talking about how we could memorialize David and his legacy. We started talking that day, and from there it kind of evolved, and we’re excited about the tournament.”

If you go

What: The inaugural Dave Galle Memorial Golf Classic will be Monday at Otter Creek Golf Course, with shotgun starts at 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Cost: $500 per team and includes greens fees, cart, range balls, breakfast, lunch, prizes and on-course contests; early registration is encouraged.

Information: If interested in forming a team, playing as an individual or sponsoring the tournament, contact Brian or Suzie Singer,, 344-4132

or 344-4112.

Galle died in August at age 47 from an autoimmune blood disorder. He left behind his wife, Jamie, and three teenage children, all of whom are or were athletes at Columbus East High School.

“I would say there are a lot of mixed feelings (about the tournament),” Jamie Galle said. “It’s wonderful that he’s being honored, and as humbling as that is and as much as we appreciate that, it’s still very difficult that the only reason that this is happening is because he’s gone.

“But the more time has passed and the pain is not quite as fresh as it was, I just appreciate it more,” she said. “I know this has been a huge undertaking, and a lot of people have put a lot of time and effort into it.”

As of Tuesday, 41 teams were entered for the scramble, which will feature a morning flight at 8 a.m. and an afternoon flight at 1:30 p.m. There will be a tribute to Dave Galle at 12:30 p.m.

The festivities also will include a Celebration Dinner and Reception beginning at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center.

All money raised from the tournament will benefit scholarships for both private and public options for pre-K education in Bartholomew County. The Heritage Fund, the Community Foundation of Bartholomew County, has been chosen to manage the scholarship.

Galle, a local education advocate, last worked for the Community Education Coalition.

“His passion was early childhood development,” Sandgren said. “It’s all about supporting Dave’s dream for both public and private education, regardless of their ability to pay.”

On the basketball court, Galle was a Division III All-American and an Academic All-American at DePauw. He led the Tigers to 61 consecutive home wins, and the school lost only one home game during his four years there.

“He was just really the best,” Steele said. “He was a great player. He was a great teammate, one of the easiest guys I’ve ever had an opportunity to coach.

“What we really need in sports are more David Galles,” he said. “He always gave 100 percent in practice, and he was a great player for us. If you were going to have the epitome of what you wanted in a student-athlete, it was David Galle. I don’t know of anyone that’s ever met David Galle that’s ever had a bad thing to say about him, and that’s pretty neat.”

Sandgren agreed.

“He was a tremendous leader both on and off the basketball court and one of the nicest guys you’d ever want to meet, but when he got on the court, he was a fierce competitor,” Sandgren said. “He’s a guy that everyone aspired to be like. He was smart. He was fun to be around. We just wanted to make sure his legacy was carried on.”

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