Man remembered with tournament
Zebrowski passed away of an overdose following a struggle with addiction. Since his passing, friends and family have put together an annual memorial golf tournament, the second of which was held July 23. They also organize scholarships and funeral costs for families dealing with unexpected deaths.
Zebrowski’s mother, Shelby Williams, organizes all of the events and fundraisers.
Derek Smith, one of the members of the Brandon “BZ” Zebrowski Memorial Fund, grew up with Zebrowski.
“We grew up together and went to high school in Frewsburg and elementary school together,” Smith said. “After high school Brandon went to JCC and got his associate’s degree there before being a United States Postal Service letter carrier for about two or three years, carrying for Jamestown and Fredonia.”
Zebrowski’s family and friends put together a scholarship — with the first one given out last year and the second this year — for Frewsburg students who are planning to go into a skilled trade like Zebrowski did, or for those going into a field related to addiction or social work.
The annual golf tournament began as a way to raise money for the Brandon “BZ” Zebrowski Memorial Fund.
“We knew we wanted to raise money, and this was an easy and fun way to do it,” Smith said. “It also gets a lot of people involved. We have 36 teams of four people. It’s an attractive thing for people to do in the summer. After last year we had people come to us and tell us how much they were looking forward to it this year. And, it raises money for a great cause.”
Last year’s tournament raised $9,000 while $7,000 was raised this year. Other events during the tournament included a Chinese auction, and both years it was held at South Hills Country Club.
“They’ve been very nice to us,” Smith said. “The first year we held it in about mid-June, so right about when Brandon passed away, but we couldn’t get that spot this year, so this year we had it about two weeks ago. We have 18 holes, with two teams per hole. The spots filled up pretty fast.”
The memorial fund also donates money to families dealing with unexpected deaths.
“It’s a general collaboration,” Smith said. “Sometimes people will see an obituary or the newspaper and contact us and we will donate money for the funeral costs that can come with an unexpected death.”
The group also donated $100 to the funds that raised money following the Tops shooting in Buffalo.
Smith hopes the fund can be expanded in the upcoming years.
“I think we did a great job to get as big as we did in the last two years,” Smith said. “The Frewsburg and Jamestown communities are very close communities and it’s great to see how we are able to expand each year. We are very new to this, so we’re still learning, but we’re getting better as time progresses and we will continue to get better. We hope to have more scholarships and more support as time progresses. We’re all very busy and we do this in our spare time, but we’re always looking to expand this great cause.”
The group can be found on their Facebook page under the name Brandon “BZ” Zebrowski Memorial Fund. Smith asked for anyone interested in learning more or getting involved to visit them there.
“People can follow our Facebook page, or consider donating, or ask how else you can get involved,” Smith said. “It’s a labor of love. The more people that we can get involved, the better.”