By PETE FONTAINE The Glocester Country Club membership, many folks who tee it up at the historic and picturesque nine-hole lakeside layout is, in just two words, par excellence.
Sunday, in fact, was yet another special example of the GCC’s generosity that resulted in form of yet another record-setting donation of $10,200 – some $2,100 more than last year’s total of $7,900 – after 36 men and 36 women participated in the 6th Annual Johnston Memorial Cancer Events Co-Ed Memorial Golf Tournament.
“People understand it’s for the children with cancer at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence and are so very generous,” Judi Graham, the tourney founder who along with her husband David Graham owns and operates Graham Builders of Smithfield, offered with excitement ringing in her voice. “We all can only hope that someday there will be a cure.”
Graham and the close-knit JMCE family – which has two openings for Sunday’s annual JMCE Memorial Tournament that will be played at Putnam National Golf Club in Putnam, Ct. for the 13th consecutive year – aren’t the only folks who take pride in helping children who are battling cancer.
In what may rank as one of the GCC’s greatest all-time moments came in form of President Ed Duffy who owns and operates All Town Real Estate of Smithfield and the club’s membership donating the course – and carts – which led to the JMCE’s record donation.
However, as the entire 72-player field as well as GCC Pro Dave Baluik – who is a registered PGA professional and won of Rhode Island reds hockey legend Stan Baluik – and course staffers will attest it’s the special social aspect on the unique go-round that brings the membership together.
Sunday’s event began with registration and the customary pre-tee off lunch featuring Todd Curley – who Graham wanted it known “always supports our cause” – manning the charcoal grill cooking hot dogs as well as serving meatball and sausage and pepper sandwiches that people enjoyed along with a pause-for-the-cause, chilled bottles of water and potato chips.
Add to that list of foods prepared by GCC Chef Jeff Paquette - who also owns and operates Paquette’s Family Restaurant/Home of Heaven on Earth Catering in East Providence – the post-tourney dinner of salad, chicken parmigiana, pasta, roasted potatoes, vegetable medley, rolls and butter and as Graham mused “no one left here hungry, that’s for sure!”
There was also cake for dessert donated by Stop & Shop and coffee made by Tracy Uriati.
“We had heartwarming support from places like Tri-Town Wine & Spirts of Johnston,” Graham emphasized while adding “Sons of Liberty in North and South Kingstown donated cans of Loyal cocktail drinks and Lovett’s Fine Cigars in Chepachet donated cigars.”
As JMCE Secretary Linda LaFazia added: “Our special thanks to Don DePtrillo (of the Original Italian Bakery) who again donated pizza chips we had on the sixth hole along with lemonciello shots. Also, thank you to Anthony and Bonnie Mara and Todd Curley for selling tickets on that hole to win a foursome to Raceway Golf Course.”
Golf-wise, Chris and Linda Adler and Ed and Amy Warner took first place on the GCC course that was featured over 30 business and memorial signs purchased at $60 each that further supported the events cause. Second place went to Tom and Paula Morra and Don and Linda Simpson with Ed and Lisa Dunphy and Noel and Sue Bennett taking third place.
Likewise, a group of GCC golfers who played under the banner of “The Train” paid $15 each for their round of golf with the proceeds going to the winner that were later donated to the day’s record donation for Hasbro Children’ Hospital.
Perhaps the pre-tee off putting contest that included almost all the fun-loving 72-golfer field – as well as Cindy DiBlasi and Melissa LaFazia selling Mulligans and Grenades along with raffle tickets for upwards of 50 donated prizes - were also shining examples of what the JMCE mission as well as that of the on-going campaign at Hasbro Children’s Hospital reads: “Every Child, Every Day.”