JMCE Memorial Golf Tournament raises money for great cause

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There are many reasons why the Johnston Memorial Cancer Events (JMCE) ranks among the most successful non-profits in Rhode Island.

Take Sunday’s Co-Ed Memorial Golf Tournament for example, that was sold out and played at sun-covered Glocester Country Club in Harmony.

A fun-loving playing field of only 64 golfers – many of whom are GCC members and friends – teed off on the picturesque 9-hole layout, and by sundown had raised a tidy sum of $7,000 the JMCE will donate to Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.

There was the JMCE’s famous pre-tee off lunch that included hot dogs cooked on the charcoal grill by Brian Curley – who was celebrating his birthday – and Tom Bennett. There were also the signature sausage and pepper sandwiches and meatball grinders, too.

In keeping with tradition, there were pizza chips, potato chips, cookies, soda, water and a GCC member even made some chowder especially for the lunch.

The post-golf dinner was equally as food-oriented and festive and featured a menu of chicken Madeira, roasted vegetables, garlic mashed potatoes, pasta marinara, cookies, fruit and a piece of a special cake that featured a golf course, replete with a cart and outline of a whole at GCC.

Moreover, there were raffles featuring many great prizes that helped boost the day’s profits.

“This was a beautiful day to play golf,” Judi Graham, a long-serving volunteer with the JMCE who initiated the Co-Ed Memorial Golf Tournament three years ago, offered. “This was also a great day for a very worthy cause.”

That may have been an understatement, of sorts, considering what the JMCE has done since its formation a decade or so ago.

To date, for example, the JMCE has raised money to support the many different programs in the Oncology and Hematology Departments at Hasbro Children’s Hospital. The unique non-profit has raised approximately $150,000 that has gone a long way to help kids who have been stricken with cancer.

Yet, people who are in one way or another closely connected with the unique non-profit will tell you it’s amazing what the JMCE has done – and more impressively pledged to do – for the internationally-famous and highly-acclaimed Hasbro Children Hospital.

“We’ve committed to donate another $100,000 to Hasbro Children’s Hospital over the next two years,” Graham, who like her husband David and the LaFazias – Vin and Linda – has been a driving force behind the JMCE’s seemingly unmatched success. “That money will be used to renovate two rooms at the hospital.”

As several people suggested during Sunday’s Co-Ed Memorial Golf Tourney, that’s a rather bold and ambitious statement for a relatively small non-profit to make.

Yet, as one of many said while enjoying some chowder Sunday: “It really speaks volumes of the many great and dedicated people like the Grahams and LaFazias, who enjoy volunteering their time to help raise money for children who have been stricken with cancer.”

Sunday was yet another shining example of just how well-respected the JMCE committee is – in form of heart-warming support from many of their friends – who simply want to be part of the ever-growing team that helps provide programs and other necessities for the Oncology and Hematolgy Units at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The Dewey and Tracy Uriati, Walter Mach Geer group captured first place with an amazing 19-under par 51.

A scorecard playoff was needed to determine second place with the team of Tom Mora, Paula Catuogno, John and Lisa Silvestri edging the Turbitts – Jim and Justine and Tom and Mel Hebert. Both teams carded 55s.

Paula Catuogno took closest to the pin for ladies and Ed Dunphy sank a hole-in-one, the first in tourney history. Nancy Hefner and Mark Cifelli won longest drive honors.

“Thanks to all those fantastic folks who came out to play golf,” said Judi Graham. “Also, we want to thank each and every member of our committee for a perfect day. For those people who didn’t play today, please try to make it next year and support a very, very important cause.”

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