Perhaps Dewey Uriati best summed up the 6th Annual JMCE Polar Golf Tournament that teed off on New Year’s Day at picturesque Glocester Country Club.
“Welcome!” exclaimed Uriati sometime around 9:45 or so on January 1, as people sipped everything from coffee to Bloody Mary’s and other traditional beverages. “We thank you for your continued support generosity to help children who are battling cancer at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.”
Soon thereafter, Uriati recalled how “we took in $60 at our first Polar Golf Tournament and last year we realized a record $2,100.”
Thus, after the record-setting 42-player field posed for its annual Polar Picture – which showcased the many types of colorful garb that ranged from ski caps and fur hats to a variety of boots and other interesting apparel – the golfers teed off for their three-hole event using only three clubs and ushered in the JMCE’s 2020 fundraising drive with a record-setting profit of $3,500.
“This is absolutely wonderful,” said Judi Graham, who is credited with founding the unique Johnston Memorial Cancer Events New Year’s Day golf go-round that benefits many programs at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence. “It’s safe to say our tournament is like fine wine; it gets better with age.”
Which is exactly what the highly-acclaimed and respected JMCE has become in its 11-year history that has resulted in the extraordinary amount of $235,000 on behalf of children who have been stricken with cancer and are under the expert care of doctors like Dr. Angela Anderson, Director of the Division of Children’s Integrative Therapies, Pain Management and Supportive Care at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.
Not even the Graham or her sidekick Linda LaFazia, or even the fun-loving membership at Glocester Country Club, ever imagined what was once a New Year’s Day get together - that included people hitting golf balls off the back patio to see which one could come closest to a target - develop into such a sparkling success that the Polar Golf Tournament has become in six short stays.
It really didn’t matter that PJ Mitchell and Chris Adler staked claim to the actual 6th Annual Polar Golf crown, it was more of a GCC membership statement – which includes wonderful women like Audrey Jorge, Michy Geer, Kim, McLaughlin and Amy Wagner who put on a unique women’s wear show per their special garb – of their untiring efforts to help children who are unfortunately battling cancer.
“We should have held a contest just for hats today,” suggested one golfer while adjusting his baseball-like cap and chatting with a fellow golfer who was wearing a Boston Bruins ski cap. “Look at David; he’s got it clinched with that Black (Bowler) Derbv.”
David is David Graham, Judi’s husband and the couple owns and operates Graham Builders of Smithfield and actually spearheaded the tourney’s growth and this time gave each of the 42 golfers a remembrance of the Polar Golf tourney.
Which was, for all intents and purposes, a company beer glass filled with candy just like the JMCE strives for its coffers to be full with record setting donations like the $36,000 the all volunteer non-profit recently presented to Hasbro Children’s Hospital.