JMCE golf tournament a hole in one

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A smashing success!

That’s what people were calling Saturday’s 11th Annual Johnston Memorial Cancer Events Golf Tournament that attracted an extraordinary record field of 200 golfers to Connecticut National Golf Club in Putnam, Conn.

Even Jim West, the popular golf professional at Connecticut National who played a major role in helping the JMCE accommodate each foursome that signed up, was amazed with what he called “the largest tournament I’ve ever seen.”

The fun-and-food-filled golf extravaganza, which is played every May to benefit the Oncology/Hematology Units at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, was again so well presented a lot of golfers told organizers “we want to sign up for next year.”

“This was a lot of work,” Vin LaFazia, the JMCE’s golf tourney chairman, said. “We have a lot of people to thank but this is well-worth everyone’s efforts. Today was a big success. Everything went well and everyone said they enjoyed the day.”

So much so, in fact, the 11th Annual Tourney, which is played in memory of the late Sal Gelsomino, Anna Mazzulla, Laura DeAngelis, Raymond Johnson, John Furia and Frances Grasso took on a completely new look Saturday.

There was the JMCE’s incredible food menu which ranged from Ruth Furia’s chowder that people raved about, hot wieners on the course as well as hot dogs and a pre-tee off luncheon that included hot dogs, pizza chips, donuts, meatball sandwiches and the non-profits famous sausage and pepper sandwiches.

Saturday’s 11th golf go-round, though, featured a number of fantastic firsts – games like bocce, corn hole, pong ball and chipping contests played on the course to buy time for the entire 200-player field – that La Fazia said “were also a huge hit with everyone.”

Although the financial report isn’t complete because as Treasurer Linda LaFazia said “we’ve still got checks and other donations coming in”, it’s safe to say the JMCE will present a record-setting donation to Hasbro Children’s Hospital during its annual check presentation.

To date, as Hasbro staffer Barbara Slover told everyone at Connecticut National prior to the afternoon field teeing off, “the JMCE has raised nearly $170,000 for Hasbro Children’s Hospital. We also thank you for your (five-year, $100,000) commitment to the Every Children, Every Day Campaign – our new capital campaign.”

Slover, who made her first-ever appearance at the JMCE Golf Tourney, said, “The commitment the JMCE has made to our hospital, and to helping us meet the needs of our oncology patients, is an inspiration and a testament to what a dedicated community group can accomplish.”

The Hasbro representative, who served as guest speaker prior to the playing of the National Anthem, added: “No parent ever wants to see their child in pain, or envisions them being rushed to the hospital for treatment and care. But if that day comes, Hasbro is ready to do whatever it takes to restore health. We have remained in the forefront of pediatric care much in part due to the fund-raising efforts of groups like the JMCE.”

As she issued a heart-felt thank you to the JMCE, Slover concluded her delivery saying, “The funds that you raise enable us to make significant improvements at our hospital – improvements that have a direct impact on patient care and well-being.”

The 2018 winners who were honored with special awards during the post-tourney dinner, included: Ron DeFusco, Mike Rizzo, Scott Pertrocchi and Pat Aiello. The Senior Division winners were: Jack Brady, Dan Calabro, Dennis Tripodi and Tony Arlia.

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