2002-07-20 / Columnists

Broad Channel Bits by Liz Guarino

Broad Channel Bits by Liz Guarino

Those 95-degree days sure make one appreciate when the mercury is in the low 80's! Nothing like a little contrast to get the old appreciation dusted off and in motion.

Some people are so amazing--people who raise funds, that is. It does take a special kind of person to do it. Someone with good ideas to plan activities and events that appeal to people and bring in badly needed funds. So those who ask for donations or sell 50/50's or tomato plants or raffles to handmade afghans to benefit an organization are pretty special. Hats off to all those folks who can fundraise and do extraordinarily well at it. Without their expertise and abilities, many organizations simply wouldn't exist.

Speaking of fundraising, the Eighth Annual Golf Tournament to benefit St. Virgilius School was held at Forest Park Golf Course in June. And what a fundraiser it was!

Co-chaired by the Doyle's and the Henglein's, the event garnered over $45,000 for the school-the largest amount of money the tournament has ever raised. As you probably know, the St. Virgilius P.A. holds a series of fundraisers through the school year to raise $80,000 annually for the school.

I talked to Helen to get details of the day. She said the event--the last
fundraiser of the school year--pulled in $24,000 last year and it was hoped
this year would bring $30,000. The proceeds exceeded everyone's expectations!

At the tournament, there were 130 golfers. The Shellbank Golf Club, named-of course-for the Basin in Howard Beach, donated their tee time to the event (they golf every Tuesday), affording all 'our' players exclusive use of the course. They play golf in the tournament too. Helen says they're very supportive.

There was a $10,000 Hole, with the money going for a hole-in-one at that
hole. Unfortunately for the golfers, no one won the prize. Donny (photo) got
the job of monitoring that hole. He and Donna are credited by Helen with doing most of the work and getting donations. Donny works for NYSE and got $25,000 in donations from the "very generous guys" on the floor of the exchange.

When golfers checked in at the clubhouse, they were presented with a bag of goodies. Of course, there was a golf shirt with the occasion's logo on it. In the bag donated by Avon there was men's cologne, Skin So Soft lotion (great bug repellent!) and a video of Olympic highlights donated by major league baseball; they got tees and golf balls too.

Golfers had a "shotgun start," with at least one foursome starting on every hole. Those who started at Hole 5 finished at Hole 4. Recommended by the course, this type of start is ideal for a large number of golfers. Holes were sponsored by people who donated from $100 to $1000; their names were on an appropriately sized sign placed at the hole they sponsored. After the tournament, signs were taken to the restaurant for display during the evening.

Dinner was a buffet in the Ocean Room at the Beach Club. One hundred and eighty people attended, including the principal and the pastor. "We were packed," said Helen, "but we had so much fun." On the menu was a shrimp dish, loin of pork tuffed with cheese and spinach, steak tips and accompanying salad and side dishes.

There were prizes galore. Avon donated 5 gift baskets, with $100 to $150 worth of their products, which were sweepstakes table prizes. There were three easels covered with envelopes containing tickets to see The Who, any Liberty game, the Brooklyn Cyclones, many Mets and Yankees games, the Sheepshead Bay movie theatre and more. There were many gift certificates to restaurants--Pier 92, Irish Circle, Tiberio and Carosello. Gift certificates for Staples, hair salons, fitness clubs and even a pizza from Gino's.

The grand prize was-of course-golf clubs and a golf bag. There were also many golf accessories and other sports equipment as prizes. There was a fisherman's trawling motor from Buster's and a Bud Harrelson autographed baseball with tickets for the Long Island Ducks, to name only a few. John Schmitt, a 1973 alumnus of St. Virgilius School, won a Gayle Sayers autographed football. It was donated by the NFL.

The only improvement that could have been made this year? If Teddy DJ'd the dinner. (He had booked the date already and was not available.) The event was the culmination of six months work, the beginning of which began in January. During that time donations and sponsorships were sought. Donna and Helen visited Tanger Outlet in Suffolk County to purchase items for the event.

I asked Helen the obvious question: How will you improve things next year? Her answer was quick. "We'll have Teddy DJ next year," she said.

On Saturday, July 27 at 8 P.M. is a performance of the Pajama Game at the Fort Tilden Theatre. Adults cost $12; seniors and children $7. Dinner will be at the Sunset Diner. Call Carol for details at 634-3451.

Don Henglein served as co-Chairperson for the Eighth Annual Golf Tournament to benefit St. Virgilius School.

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