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37th Annual BGCL Golf Tournament Raises Record $180,000

June 30, 2016

More than 250 golfers raised a record $180,000 at the 37th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence (BGCL) Golf Tournament on June 20 at Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover. The golf tournament is one of BGCL's largest fundraisers, providing a significant portion of the annual operating budget for critical programs focusing on academic success, healthy lifestyles, and community involvement for more than 3,800 youth members at two locations.

After a day of golf which also featured gift bags, meals plus continuous refreshments along the course, contests, raffles, and complementary photos of the foursomes, attendees enjoyed dinner and cocktails while bidding on dozens of silent and live auction items. The keynote speaker was club alumna Rosa Reynoso, winner of the Brother Florentius Memorial Award - the highest honor bestowed on a graduate each year by Central Catholic High School. Larry Yameen of Lawrence was recognized as chairman of the Golf Committee, and Golf Committee member Paul Bologna of Salem, N.H. received the Originals Volunteer Award.

BGCL Executive Director Markus Fischer said he is humbled by the generosity of community members whose sponsorships and donations of auction items "literally help keep our doors open." Some of the highest sellers included golf for four at exclusive courses, a two-night stay in the Cottages at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, premiere Boston Red Sox tickets, New England Patriots memorabilia, and drink coolers and gift baskets filled with beverages from multiple beer and wine sponsors. In addition, several individuals donated to In With Kids, which provides a financially disadvantaged child with a one-year club membership including a nutritious meal every night.

In addition to sponsoring the event, Sparkling ICE covered the fees for a special foursome: just-graduated Lawrence High School golf team members Eidan Pagan and David Garcia, Lawrence High School safety officer and golf coach Ron Santacroce, and the school's media manager David Pekarski. Santacroce said the experience - coordinated by Yameen - was particularly important for the teens, who enjoyed playing on a golf course for only the second time.

"This was a big deal for them. On the way home, they must have thanked me five times," said Santacroce, noting that the teens were impressed by their fellow golfers' sportsmanship and also made to feel welcome by the friendly staffs of BGCL and Indian Ridge. "The boys aren't club members themselves, but they were glad to be part of an event that does so much to help other kids their age."

In addition to serving on the BGCL Finance Committee and Investment Committee, Boxford resident Clyde Sylvia is vice president and CFO of the GEM Group which sponsored the event and provided insulated tote bags for all the golfers.

"The GEM Group is proud to support the golf tournament because the club does so much for the youth of Lawrence. I've seen the difference it makes first-hand," said Sylvia, noting that many children of his Lawrence-based company's employees are club members. "It's a first-class organization, and they put on a first-class event."

Kathy O'Neil of Nashua, N.H. has played in the golf tournament, as well as attended the club's annual auction fundraiser, for the past several years with board member Linda Kistler of Carlisle. She especially enjoys the keynote address during the evening program, in which club kids or alumni describe what the club means to them and the difference it has made in their lives.

"When you hear those stories," she said, "it makes you feel proud to be part of something so special."

 

Did You Know?

In the past 10 years 1,300 girls have participated in our teen-pregnancy prevention program and only two (0.2%) have become pregnant as teenagers.