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REMEMBERING ZEB: Unique golf tournament honors beloved young man

Zeb Hermanson
Chosen Valley Golf Course in Chatfield

ROCHESTER, Minn. (FOX 47) - Suicide is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 10 and 34.

To raise awareness about the issue, one golf tournament brings together many people in the area to remember someone dearly loved in the community.

Zebulin Alex Hermanson, known as Zeb, passed away at the age of 28 just over two years ago.

To remember him, friends and family decided to find a way that could make a difference. Now on the weekend of his passing, Zeb's Memorial Classic is held at Chosen Valley Golf Course in his hometown of Chatfield.

"We're out here for way more than golf. Golf is just a game," said Adam Cole, friend and tournament organizer.

But a game loved by Zeb Hermanson.

Ben: "That why we're out here. Trying to celebrate him and raise awareness for a good cause."

The money raised at the golf tournament goes towards suicide awarness and to help families who have lost someone.

Zeb's passing had a big impact on several communities.

"It hits us kind of hard. Zeb was an integral part of the Rochester community and the Chatfield community," said Amanda Curry, Chatfield resident and tournament volunteer.

Suicide is not something anyone would have suspected, especially because of Zeb's personality.

"You wouldn't be able to tell if you were talking to Zeb for a day," Curry said. "He was just an amazing happy go lucky guy."

"He was everybody's best friend. He was the greatest guy in the world," said Ben Vondal, tournament organizer. "Always had a smile on his face. Always trying to make sure everybody else was happy."

Zeb's fun-loving nature is replicated by the tournament in his namesake.

"We put something fun on every hole for everybody to participate in," Curry said. "We have kids out here, older, younger, in the middle. We try to make it so everyone can play."

It's not your average golf tournament. Random club tee-offs, baseball bat drives, bets and raffles await at various holes.

"This tournament just kind of replicates him. It's what he was and would have been proud of," Vondal said. "All of his friends getting together, his family getting together, hitting golf balls, having drinks and having a good time."

"He would want to be here," Cole said. "It would have been one of things he would wanted to be here so that's what we try to make it for."

Participants have a fun time on the same course that Zeb and his friends had many fun times.

"There's a lot of good memories," said Cole. "Actually, how much time you got?"

Everyone at the tournament who knew Zeb told many stories about him on and off the golf course. He is remembered as a big fan of the Vikings, the music of Prince and traveling with his friends.

He was also named city's best bartender by Rochester Magazine and worked as a realtor.

Alex Tejada

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