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Neighbors

Neighbors: Golf tournament raising money for sick kids

Hello neighbor.

I’d like to put out another request. Please contact me with information about your favorite place in Franklin County. I’ve been taking little trips here and there, and will eventually tell you about some of them, but I’d like to know about your favorite place and why it is so special. You all know that the Quabbin is mine, but who knows, maybe one of you will change my mind — contact me at: franklincountyneighbors@gmail.com. Thanks!

I ALSO WANT TO TELL YOU about a couple of brothers who are making the lives of children with diabetes a little happier.

Our neighbor Pat Gagnon told me her brothers Tim and Chris Kenny, with the help of friends and family, started an annual golf tournament in 1994 in memory of their late father Robert Kenny, who opened the branch of Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Co. in Greenfield back in the 1970s. Robert also served on the town’s Finance Committee and Arts Council and their mother worked in Greenfield schools and volunteered at the hospital. Robert also had diabetes.

This year, Tim and Chris hosted the 20th annual Kenny Classic golf tournament at Elmcrest Country Club in East Longmeadow to raise money for the Robert J. Kenny Memorial Scholarship Fund, which goes to kids with diabetes who attend the Clara Barton Camp each year. They had raised a total of $225,000 going into this year’s tournament. I will let you know the total for 20 years when I reach one of them, but it looks like they’ve raised another $12,000 or more.

The reason I’m telling you about this is not only because it is a great thing these men are doing, but also because I’m told so many of you golfers who live here in Franklin County play in the tournament each year. What a nice way to get out and do what you love while helping children at the same time.

I HEAR THIRD- AND FOURTH-GRADERS at Dexter Park Elementary School in Orange were recently treated to a rare sight, right in their gymnasium. Michael Leblanc visited the school with his 5-year-old male wolf Cochese. Michael travels throughout New England educating the public on the misconceptions we have of wolves.

I’m sure those 10- and 11-year-old children had a great time. I wish I’d been there.

For more information on Michael and on wolves, visit: www.wolftalk.net.

EIGHT OF OUR YOUNGER NEIGHBORS recently returned with their families from Savannah, Ga., after competing in the YMCA National Gymnasitics Tournament there.

The girls, better known as the Tumbling Tigers, who competed in Level 4 competition were Madison Adams, 11, who placed in the top 30, Ruthie Davis, 10, who placed in the top 20, Madelyn Janus, 9, who placed in the top 20 all around, and Allyson Unaitis, 8, who placed ninth on the bars and 15th all around. There were 87 girls competing at that level. Amber Taylor competed against 84 other girls at Level 5 and placed ninth on the bars and 15th all around. Brittney Richotte, 18, competed in Level 7 competition with 69 other girls and placed 25th all around, and Kayla Hamer and Nora Roscoe, both 15, competed against 65 others in Level 8 competition. Kayla placed sixth on vault and Nora placed in the top 20 all around.

Kelly Clevenger, coach of the Greenfield Y’s gymnastics team for the past dozen years, said the eight girls had a great time, not only competing, but learning a little about Savannah’s history.

Kelly told me that there are 65 girls on the local Y team and eight of them scored high enough on bars, balance beam, vault and floor to make it to Savannah.

Kelly said she likes to encourage families to go along on these types of trips to make it more like a vacation for everyone.

She said opening ceremonies were held in a beautiful park with oak trees, moss and a large fountain as the backdrop.

Kelly told me that 2,500 gymnasts from 23 states competed and several girls from the Greenfield team placed.

Congratulations to all of you! You do us proud.

Here’s a couple of events happening in the next couple of weeks:

IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO DO on July 28 from 6 to 8 p.m., maybe you should head to the Greenfield Energy Park, where The Jammin’ Divas will perform as part of the Greenfield Energy Park Sunday Concert Series.

The divas will be there singing traditional and contemporary original folk music from Ireland, Australia and the United States.

The group consists of Aoife Clancy of Ireland, Becky Chace and Craig Akin from here in the states, Kath Buckell of Australia, and Hadar Noiberg of Israel.

Together, I’m told they blend the “stunning renditions” of traditional and contemporary original folk music, as well as elements of improvisation from each of their cultures.

So, pack a picnic supper and a lawn chair, bring a friend or your family, and enjoy the divas in the Energy Park.

There will be a suggested donation of $10 at the gate.

For more information, contact the Greenfield Recreation Department at 413-772-1553.

WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE the Boston Red Sox Division A Lowell Spinners play against the Florida Marlins Division A Batavia Muckdogs on Aug. 4?

If you would, Orange Recreational Association is sponsoring its first annual Division A trip. The bus will leave Butterfield School playground in Orange at 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 4 — the first pitch is expected to be thrown at 5:05 p.m.

The cost for the ticket and bus ride is $33. There are a limited number of tickets, so it’s first come, first served, so call 978-544-6377.

I HAD A REQUEST FROM A WOMAN NAMED JILLIAN who is with the Fresh Air Fund Volunteer Host Family Program. The program is looking for families in Franklin County and the surrounding area to host an inner-city child for this summer and next. The Fresh Air Fund is an independent nonprofit that provides free summer experiences to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities. Each summer more than 4,000 of those children visit volunteer host families in rural, suburban and small-town communities from across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada.

These children form amazing bonds and lifelong friendships with their host families. A family here in Greenfield will be spending a fourth summer in a row with a 9-year-old named Melissa.

If you would like to do the same, or you would just like a little more information, visit: www.freshair.org.

To contact Anita Fritz, a staff reporter at The Recorder, send an email to: franklincountyneighbors@gmail.com or call 413-772-0261, ext. 280. You can also reach Anita on Facebook at Anita’s Neighbors. Information to be included in Neighbors may also be sent to: neighbors@recorder.com up to noon two days before you want it to run.

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