By Andy Simek
ROSCOE June 23, 2006 Why do most people play golf?
For relaxation? To get out of the house? Cancer research, maybe?
Well, alright, the last one may not be the most popular reason for golfers to hit the greens under ordinary circumstances. This past Monday at the Tennanah Lake Golf and Tennis Club, however, cancer research was precisely what brought the golfers out.
The Thunder on the Lake Golf Tournament ran from noon to 4 p.m. and attracted 14 teams of golfers with three or four people per team. The event was held to raise money for St. Baldricks, a charity which donates millions of dollars yearly for research on childhood cancers.
Mondays golfers helped to raise approximately $3,400 of that yearly donation.
Many of the players were there on behalf of relatives who suffer from cancer.
Pete DeVantier played for his two sisters who have the disease.
Kyle Henry participated for his son Calvin, who has leukemia and is currently out of treatment. His hopes are that other kids can benefit from research the same way his son has.
Even Thunder 102s Paul Ciliberto joined in on the fun for his 7-year-old relative in Florida who is undergoing cancer treatment.
Ciliberto said that there is a surprisingly small amount of funding for childrens oncology, and with cancer being the number one cause of death by disease for children, St. Baldricks seemed to him like a worthy cause to donate his time and his hair to.
St. Baldricks often hosts fundraising events where people shave their heads, which Ciliberto has agreed to do in the near future.
Mike Sakell, also of Thunder 102, thinks that the tournament is a great way to help the community come together to fight for a good cause.
The tournament, while attracting many people dedicated to fighting cancer for personal reasons, also brought golfers who just wanted to help out.
Frank Godlewski, the Tennanah Lake golf pro, said I think were doing a great thing for a great charity and I think at least I hope that everybody is having a good time, too.
Another golfer, who will remain unnamed due to his skipping out of work said that, Kids are the future. Youve got to help them out.
This philosophy is one of the reasons Jeanne Sager of Callicoon Center organized the event.
If kids cant beat their cancer, she said, then they cant grow up to do what they were put here to do.
After a cancer-related death that hit a little too close to home, Jeanne received an e-mail from her aunt about St. Baldricks and thought, I could do this, too.
Sager commented that she was very fortunate to have a happy and healthy daughter, but realized that not everyone can be so lucky.
There were some lucky people at the tournament, however, including the winners. The three-man team that held that honor consisted of Frank Rubino, Daniel Tino and Gregg Accarino. This team represented the Magnum Brothers Construction company and won with a score of 61, which was 11-under par for the Tennanah Lake course. Along with these winners were other golfers who won raffle prizes donated by Thunder 102 as well as other local businesses. The biggest winners, however, are the children that will benefit from the money raised at this event.
The St. Baldricks fund has been operating since 1999 and has contributed more than $12 million for research on childrens cancer in the six years since its inception.
The charity, which is known for getting participants to shave their heads, will be holding one of its trademark events on Wednesday, July 12 starting at 4:30 p.m. at Mane Street Styles, on Main Street in Jeffersonville.
Both Sager and Ciliberto will be shaving their heads at this event along with a few other participants. Anybody and everybody are welcome to join to either shave their heads or to donate to the fund.
Anyone who wants to make a donation can drop off a check made out to the Bold Gold Media Charity Account at any branch of the First National Bank of Jeffersonville. Checks made out to St. Baldricks may be sent to Jeanne Sager, P.O. Box 10, Callicoon, NY 12723.
For more information on St. Baldricks visit www.stbaldricks.org or call Jeanne Sager at 482-5102.