10th Near & Far Aid Golf Classic thrives under all conditions!
September 27th, 2010
Neither rain, nor wind nor tough economic conditions could keep the 10th annual Near & Far Aid Golf Classic down. This year, it was the weather that tried to dampen play at the Country Club of Fairfield on September 27, 2010. Golfers teed off under misty conditions and heavy rain forced the players off the field after three hours, but once again the tournament was a shining success for Near & Far Aid and its lead sponsor, Fairfield County Bank. Since its inauguration, the Golf Classic has raised over $1.5 million to support non-profit agencies focused on ending poverty throughout Fairfield County. The Golf Classic has survived - and thrived - through a roller coaster 10 years that has included the tragedy of 9/11, a booming economy and the tough times of recent years. Its success contributes heavily to Near & Far Aid’s ability to fund approximately 90 deserving non-profit agencies in Fairfield County, year in and year out.
The Golf Classic thrives because of its corporate sponsors, volunteers and players. For the sixth consecutive year, Fairfield County Bank was the lead sponsor of the event. “It’s critical that we support local charity events – especially in tough times,” explained Paul McNamara, the Chairman of the Board of Fairfield County Bank. “We are a local institution; we can literally see how important our support is for organizations like Near & Far Aid. We believe in being there for our customers and our communities. We supported them in the boom years, and we will support them in the lean years to the best of our ability.”
The barbeque lunch overlooking Southport Harbor was sponsored by the Russell Agency and Chubb Insurance. Porsche of Fairfield provided a long weekend lease for a Porsche Cayman or Boxter, while the putting contest was sponsored by local legal firm Cummings and Lockwood. Auto enthusiasts were able to peruse a collection of 2011 cars brought in by Porsche of Fairfield and Land Rover Milford. This year’s post-play cocktail party was graced by a photo exhibit by photographer, Pamela Einarson who displayed images of people whose lives are touched by the charities supported by Near and Far Aid.
Approximately 40 local volunteers played a huge role in the success of the Golf Classic. Co-chairs, Georgianna Platt of Westport, and Denise Caron-Quinn of Southport, drew upon a mix of experienced and novice volunteers to handle tasks ranging from corporate fundraising, art display, souvenir photos, putting contests and beverage carts. There was something for everyone to do, based upon each volunteer’s abilities and time availability. The common goal for all volunteers was simple – making sure all the golfers were ‘happy campers.’ “This is the only charity tournament I play that has such a large number of smiling, pleasant volunteers. It makes the whole day more fun,” confessed one golfer who has played for the past 7 years.
Of course, you can’t have a golf tournament without golfers. A large number of golfers return every year to the Golf Classic; this year approximately 65% were repeat players. Even when the weather interfered with the golf, the players acted like champions, well aware of the fact they were playing for charity. As one golfer said, “I always bring a mix of clients and friends to play. We all like to play, but it’s even better when you know all the money is going to local charities. We all pitch in for any extras like putting contests, hit against the pro and anything else we can. It’s all about raising money for Near & Far and the charities they support. ”
The final key to the Golf Classic’s success is the venue. Held every year at the Country Club of Fairfield, the course is well known for its scenic views of Long Island Sound. Rated one of the best links courses in the Eastern United States, the Golf Classic gives golfers from other areas and clubs the rate opportunity to play on a highly desirable and exclusive course. The beautiful playing conditions and the professionalism of its pros are the final details that add up to 10 years of success.