Kiwanis takes on golf tourney that benefited Warm the Children for years

Staff Writer
Published: 3/19/2021 4:59:30 PM

The Greenfield Kiwanis Club has taken over the Franklin County Sheriff’s annual golf tournament to benefit Warm The Children and the sheriff’s office will continue to help, at least for now. But the proceeds will be split between the club and the charity that provides winter clothing to children who need them, as well as other charities the club helps.

Longtime club member Phil Corrinet, who is heading up the tournament, said it will still be held on the Monday after Mother’s Day, May 10 this year, but 25 percent of the proceeds will go to Warm The Children, unlike 100 percent when the sheriff’s office was running it.

The sheriff’s office raised more than $10,000 for Warm The Children in 2019, but the tournament had to be canceled last year because of the pandemic. It had been raising an average of about $7,000 for Warm The Children for several years. Warm The Children has in past years clothed between 1,000 and 1,500 local children each winter.

The tournament began more than 16 years ago — this year is the 16th annual, but the tournament was not held in 2020 due to the pandemic. Doni Beauregard, executive assistant to the sheriff, started the tournament to benefit Warm The Children and several years later Norma Lovett, who has since retired from the sheriff’s office, took over.

“The sheriff’s office is pleased to be partnering with the Kiwanis Club to make this year’s golf tournament a reality,” Sheriff Christopher Donelan said. “Warm The Children, along with many other Kiwanis charities will be the beneficiaries of this year’s tournament, and I know it will be a great success.”

Donelan said the sheriff’s office will help in any way it can — printing, volunteers, etc. — but because of staffing and Lovett retiring it wasn’t feasible to keep running the tournament. He said when the Kiwanis contacted him and asked if they could take it over, he thought it was a good idea.

“We’re here to help in any way we can,” he said. “This is the Kiwanis’ tournament now.”

“We’re struggling like everyone else,” Corrinet said. “We had to cancel our auction last year. It has been tough, so we need some of the money we raise from the tournament. We’ll see how this first one for us goes and be talking more about what it will look like in the future.”

Corrinet said the golf tournament will continue to be held at the Country Club of Greenfield. He said it’s a “great tournament,” because it’s typically the first of the year in the area so everyone is itching to get out on the course. He said it already has all of its teams signed up — 32 teams of four will each play 18 holes — but the Kiwanis are still looking for more sponsors.

“It’s a scramble that will go from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.,” Corrinet said. “It will be tremendous this year, because we have raffle gifts left from the auction we were supposed to have last year. The community will be able to stop at the Country Club and bid on items in the silent auction, not just golfers.”

He said there will be a June rain date to be announced. He said he’s not too concerned about the pandemic causing another cancellation because there won’t be a dinner, so everything will be outside, and numbers are low right now. Instead, each golfer will receive a $25 gift card to Terrazza restaurant.

“The sheriff let us take over because Norma Lovett, who ran it for years for the sheriff’s office, retired from the jail,” he said. “We’ll be honoring Bud Foster this year throughout the course — he was a dedicated member of the Kiwanis. There will be banners and we’ll have a free hotdog booth on the 11th hole.”

Corrinet said he hopes the tournament helps attract new members to the club, which has decreased to 20 members.

“We’re aging, so we’d like to get some new blood, new energy,” he said. “We want to generate interest. This tournament is a good way.”

He said the Kiwanis sponsors the Key Club at Greenfield High School, Camp Keewanee scholarships for kids and more.

“We’re always looking for new projects and at the needs of our community,” he said. “We also want people to have fun.”

Corrinet said the tournament itself isn’t a huge money-maker because the money it charges golfers to play goes to pay the course fees, cost of cart rentals and other costs associated with the tournament. He said most of the money will be raised through sponsors and the raffles.

“It’s all about the sponsors,” he said.

To become a sponsor, call Corrinet at 413-427-2075.

Reach Recorder reporter Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.

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