York-area golf event, which has raised nearly $1 million for charity, canceled for 2020

George Tarasovic, left, and Eddie Khayat, right, are seen here in a file photo. They are the founders of a celebrity golf tournament to benefit York County Special Olympics. The event is held each June at Out Door Country Club. The 2020 event was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event was renamed to honor Tarasovic and Khayat a few years ago. Tarasovic died last year at age 89.

A York County tradition won't be held this year.

The Eddie Khayat-George Tarasovic Celebrity Golf Classic was canceled for 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic. The event benefits the York County Special Olympics.

It was slated to be held June 15 at Out Door Country Club.

According to a news release, the members of the tournament committee made the decision out of consideration for the health of the celebrities, the foursomes and Special Olympics athletes who have supported the tournament since its launch in 1989.

The tournament committee hopes to bring back the tournament on June 21, 2021, if circumstances permit.

The tournament, which this year would have marked its 32nd annual outing, has raised nearly $1 million for York County Special Olympics athletes.

Since its start, the event has attracted a number of well-known sports celebrities, with the majority coming from the NFL, where founders Khayat and Tarasovic made their athletic marks. Among those who have attended the tournament are Pro Football Hall of Famers Chuck Bednarik, Raymond Berry, Harold Carmichael, Harry Carson, Art Donovan, John Hannah, Sam Huff, John Henry Johnson, John Mackey, Tommy McDonald, Bobby Mitchell, Lenny Moore and Johnny Unitas.

The tournament raises money through foursome fees and sponsors. Most recently, the tournament has benefited from the support of Victory AA and longtime sponsor Bunzl MidAtlantic.

This year’s tournament would have had special meaning. Tarasovic, who originally came up with the idea for the tournament, died in October of 2019. Bob O’Brien, founder of the York County chapter of Special Olympics and an original tournament committee member, died in February of 2020. And Pete Retzlaff, a member of the Philadelphia Eagles Hall of Fame and a driving force behind the tournament’s success, died in April, 2020.

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.