Scholarship funds, nonprofits boosted by Bernardston golf tournaments

By DOMENIC POLI and CHRIS LARABEE

Staff Writers

Published: 05-30-2023 1:12 PM

BERNARDSTON — The Knights of Columbus charity golf tournament had roughly 40 players when it was established. Now, in its 10th year, the event booked the maximum of 144 golfers in mid-February.

The tournament, held at the Crumpin-Fox Club by the Lt. John J. Galvin Council 133 earlier this month, had 18 teams, with each one starting from a different hole and playing through once.

“The [Knights of Columbus] golf committee plans on meeting after the tournament to calculate our revenue and expenses. Once we have a final amount for our proceeds, the committee plans on meeting to choose the different programs in the community that we would like to support,” Deputy Grand Knight Jay Dillon wrote in an email. “In the years past, we have chosen The United Arc and the Franklin County Community Meals [Program], among other programs.”

The Knights of Columbus tournament was not the only golf fundraiser hosted at the Crumpin-Fox Club this month. Thirty-four teams comprised of judges, court officers, lawyers and the general public took to the course for the second annual Franklin County Bar Association Community Fund’s Thomas W. Merrigan Memorial Scholarship.

The $1,000 scholarship is awarded to two college-bound students and is named in honor of Thomas Merrigan, a lawyer and legal advocate who believed in the importance of education. Franklin County Bar Association Community Fund President Ben Simanski said the goal is to “highlight Franklin County residents and students.”

“It’s our sense of taking pride in our youth,” Simanski said. “This is one of those opportunities where we can do it on our own time and not have it seen as work.”

Simanski said 2022’s inaugural tournament was “wonderfully” successful, raising $16,000 for the Community Fund. That success carried over in 2023, with this year’s event selling out in two days.

While the Community Fund has given out two scholarships each year, Simanski said the goal is to keep raising money to spread the aid further.

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“Our hope is to make that grow and grow,” he said.

Chris Larabee can be reached at clarabee@recorder.com or 413-930-4081. Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.

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