To say that Glocester Country Club hosted a super special star-spangled salute to veterans last Friday would indeed by an understatement.
The historic and picturesque 9-hole layout, which was founded in 1929, was overflowing with its unmatched hospitality amid up a sea of red, white and blue.
For example, the welcoming committee – which was made of GCC members – registered 46 players for the 2nd Annual Veterans Day Golf Tournament that began with a bountiful continental breakfast and concluded with a delicious and fun-filled dinner catered by Café Vino of Johnston.
Perhaps even more impressive was that GCC wanted “to thank ALL veterans for their service” and did so in a unique setting of centerpieces of mini flags for all branches of the military that were placed on a white linen napkin on red and blue covered round tables.
Ol’ glory was everywhere on the well-maintained course, from the flagpole to greens, that seemed to sparkle during a pomp-and-circumstance ceremony that reflected – as someone suggested – “what our freedom means to us” – raising of the flag by Bob Trahan and Walter Clarke and an extraordinary rendition of the National Anthem sung by Lille Wells, a former student at Ponaganset High School.
The day’s spotlight was thrust upon 46 veterans who were honored on the ninth green – which ironically was flanked by two sand traps – and before the siren sounded thus signaling it was time to tee off, GCC’s new President Cheryl Jason delivered a warm welcome then played each of the country’s military theme songs via a sound system.
Likewise, there was another special salute for the veterans, as each cart windshield was adorned with colorful hand painted “Thank You for Your Service” signs from Robin McFadden’s third-grade class.
Many golfers, like Bob and Kathie Hughes who were decked out in red, white and blue garb, placed a wreath they made on their cart.
The entire event was without question an excellent example of the GCC and its close-knit membership putting its best foot forward for another important benefit golf tournament.
Although there were some golfers took home a first-place finish, the real winner was two-fold.
“We took in approximately $1,980,” said Vin LaFazia, a Vietnam veteran and tourney organizer. “We will be donating $300 to Spirit of Hope which helps to fee homeless vets on Thanksgiving with the remainder ($1,680) going to Wreaths Across America which is located at Ponaganset High School and will be held on Dec. 13 at Ponaganset.”
LaFazia, who spearheads the highly acclaimed JMCE (Johnston Memorial Center Events) Golf tournament, said “We have lots of people to thank for making today an overwhelming success, most especially GCC and members for hosting this event.”
Thus, LaFazia praised the committee that included Cheryl Jason, Robin McFadden, Judi and David Graham who donated the dinner, Linda LaFazia, Eric Gelsomino and Joe Casali who paid for the breakfast, Pro Nick Maresca and immediate past GCC President Ed Duffy.
While speaking on behalf of the committee, LaFazia added: “Also, a special thank you to GCC members, the Pro Nick, Ed Duffy, Kingstown Liquors, Elmwood Sports and Kathy Hughes do their generous raffle donations.”
“We couldn’t have done this without everyone’s help,” Linda LaFazia emphasized. “A huge THANK YOU to each and every golfer, committee and GCC members and most especially our veterans who we must never – ever – forget to thank for their service.”
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