More than 130 golfers turned out Monday at the Springfield Country Club for the 25th HCC Foundation golf tournament. The event annually raises close to $25,000 for the HCC Foundation, the nonprofit fundraising arm of Holyoke Community College.
This year, money from the golf tournament will support the Foundation's "Building Healthy Communities" campaign, which will help pay for the construction of HCC's new Center for Health Sciences on Jarvis Avenue and the renovation of science classrooms and laboratory space in the school's Marieb building.
"We really appreciate your playing today," Erica Broman, vice president of Institutional Development at HCC, told golfers and other attendees at the tournament dinner, "and the students of Holyoke Community College appreciate your playing today."
Golfers played the shotgun scramble in both morning and afternoon rounds on a crisp, windy day that made precision shotmaking a challenge. Nevertheless, two teams tied with a low gross total of 60 on Springfield's par-72, Donald Ross-designed layout, the foursome of John Dowd, Dave Griffth Jr., Jim Tierney and Bill Walthouse; and the foresome of Roger Bidwell, Vin Grassetti, Kevin McCarthy and Tom Stewart. The team with the lowest net score (50.8) included Bob Young, Beth Mineo-Young, Joe Young and Mary Young-McLain.
There were closest to the hole contests on each par 3 and a $50,000 hole-in-one challenge on the 18th, which no one won. John Dowd won the putting contest by one inch in a showdown with Scott Rohan on the 18th green following the conclusion of the tournament.
Golfers and guests also had the opportunity to enter raffles and bid in a silent auction on items such as handmade jewelry, New England Patriot tickets and weekend getaways.
Tournament co-chair Beth Mineo told the story of a boy named Keith, who had grown up facing many challenges in his life that had made it impossible for him to afford college. Mineo said she sought assistance on behalf of Keith from the HCC Foundation, which gave him financial assistance.
"They literally saved this child's life by helping him go to college," Mineo said. "Your dollars here do a lot of good."
Mineo recognized former HCC president David Bartley for starting the golf tournament 25 years ago. "Since then we have raised over $330,000," she said, "and it wouldn't have been possible without David."
Anyone who wants to help support education by contributing to the HCC Foundation's "Building Healthy Communities" campaign can do so by going to www.hcc.edu/donate.
Photos: (Left) John Dowd lines up his winning putt in the HCC Foundation golf tournament putting contest. (Right) A tournament attendee puts in a bid on a silent auction item.