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Lawrence Resident Gives Back Through Golf Tournament on June 20 Benefiting BGCL

May 03, 2016

Over the 30 years in which he has helped run the annual golf tournament benefiting the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence, Larry Yameen has watched proudly as the event has grown in size and scope. One consistency that has remained is the high-quality reputation of the event which draws golfers from throughout the Merrimack Valley.

"We've always strived to make it a first-class tournament, and to do that, we don't cut corners," he said, citing the meals plus continuous refreshments along the course, chair massages, complimentary photos, a generous allotment of golf balls, gift bags, prizes, and other examples of little touches enjoyed by golfers throughout the day.

"We're very fortunate to have so many great supporters, including fantastic volunteers, directors, and officers who give so much of their time and energy," added Yameen, owner of L.J. Yameen Real Estate near his Lawrence home in which he has lived for 77 years. "It's a great day supporting a great cause."

Yameen's history with the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence dates back to the 1970s, when he was recruited to help out by a fellow member of the Exchange Club of Lawrence. In addition to the Golf Committee, Yameen quickly became a leader of several efforts which continue today, such as serving traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners to all the club kids. As a founding member of the Auction Committee, he even remembers purchasing bicycles the morning of the inaugural event so there would more items on which attendees could bid.

"Thank goodness we don't have to do that anymore!" he said of the auction, which drew 250 attendees last month. In addition, Yameen was a member of the Capital Campaign which raised $8.5 million to construct the club's building on Water Street which opened in 2007.

Each year, according to Yameen, the Golf Committee spends considerable time identifying new ways to enhance the golfers' experience at the tournament. In the past, a cash prize was given to the person whose numbered golf ball among those dropped from a helicopter landed closest to a particular hole. Special guests have included sports legends Bobby Orr, Rico Petrocelli, and Tony DeMarco.

In order to keep the event innovative, new items are always needed for the raffles, contests, and live and silent auctions. Most of all, however, attendees look forward to the keynote address given by a club kid or alum at the dinner to which golfers from both the morning and afternoon flights are invited. According to Yameen, the impact of hearing first-hand about what the club means to them, and the difference it has made in their lives, is incomparable. In addition, club kids are stationed along the course throughout the day to spot balls, clean clubs, and remind the participants of the cause behind the event.

One of only three annual fundraisers, the golf tournament raises a significant portion of the club's 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. Revenue is also raised through golf tournament sponsorships, which are available at a variety of levels.

"The staff at the club is absolutely phenomenal. Nobody can touch them because in one word, they care," Yameen said. "When you see, day in and day out, how they're able to take kids and turn their lives around, you can't help but get involved."

The 37th annual golf tournament will take place on Monday, June 20 at Indian Ridge Country Club, 73 Lovejoy Road in Andover. Register at http://bit.ly/1rxD25I before the June 1 deadline. For sponsorship information, or to support the club by attending the dinner and/or purchasing raffle tickets, contact Special Events Coordinator Sarah Hogue at 978-683-2747, ext. 128 or shogue@lawrencebgc.com.

 

Did You Know?

78.3% of our members are Hispanic