This tournament began in 2000 as a means of generating money for Michael Strong's Pan-Massachusetts Challenge fundraising effots. Mike rode his first PMC in 1999 in memory of a friend who lost his battle with a brain tumor in 1998. During the 2000 PMC, Mike was introduced to Peabody residents Larry III and Judith Theriault, then 8-year-old twins battling brain tumors themselves. It felt instantly his friend was helping people like Judith and Larry through this tournament.
As a result of all this inspiration, Mike started the Par Fore the Cure Golf Clasic, and there have been many others who have sufferred loss join this journey.
In that first year, 91 golfers arrived up at Lynnfield Centre Golf Course for a 9-hole event at a very low-scale course. But for a first-year event, all goals were surpassed on that June day. We managed to raise $8,100, but more importantly, we laid the foundation for a tremendous day of fun and philanthropy.
Given the demand, we expanded some in 2001. We still went to Lynnfield, but added a shotgun start in the late morning. We had 112 golfers on the course and raised $11,250. We also were able to have Larry Therriault Jr. speak to the audience about what something like this means to his family (read speech). We also added the New England-style clambake to the day's festivities.
In 2002 we again expanded the field, or at least the courses. We held dual shotgun starts, one at Lynnfield and one at Cedar Glen, 3 miles down the road. This proved the demand was still strong in that we had 115 golfers play that day and we generated $11,000. That was also the first year that Dr. Elizabeth Maher spoke to the golfers. She and Larry are able to provide unique perspectives from different sides of the brain tumor battle.
The next years we really expanded. We moved our entire operation to Bradford Country Club in Haverhill. We were able to play a full 18 holes and sent off 147 golfers for an early morning tee time. The tournament sold out in 10 days. We again had the same meal and the same speakers, but we added another partner in the Jimmy Fund Golf Program, who help serve this tournament with off-season networking evenings, golf balls, goodie bags, and the American Airlines tickets and golf clubs. We raised $15,000 for brain tumor research. This is also the first year we were able to restrict our gift specifically to Dr. Maher and her team at Dana-Farber.
In 2004, all was the same, except for the rain that came down for the first time in our history. While the bodies may have gotten wet, nothing could dampen the spirits of all in attendance. We manage to generate $17,500 for Dr. Maher. She told the audience that she was able to use our previous year's donation to do extensive research into what makes brain tumors so different from other forms of cancer. She then sent the data produced from that research to the National Institutes of Health where they received a $700,000 grant, based in part on our gifts.
For our 2005 tournament we took a great leap in doubling our field. The tournament fielded 228 golfers in two separate flights, both morning and afternoon, with the clambake and speaker program between them.
In 2006 we took another leap and brought our event to Apple Hill Golf Club and Kingston Fairways in Kingston, NH. By utilizing both courses we were able to send off simultaneous, double-barrel shotgun starts in the morning and gather in the afternoon together for our legendary lobster feast. We sent 220 golfers out for a tremendous day of fun and philanthropy.
We combined the money raised at the 2006 golf tournament and our inaugural Golf Ball, held in March 2006, to the Jimmy Fund and specifically for brain tumor research. We donated $42,000 in 2006, and in the past seven years we have generated more than $130,000 for this cause.
In 2007, we donated another $42,000 by combining the funds from the Golf Ball and golf tournament. Once again, we had over 220 golfers participate in the tournament and 220 guests attend the Golf Ball.
In 2008, we kept up our considtent donation, providing doctors and researchers with another $42,000.
Since then we have settled in nicely at two separate golf courses, Apple Hill Golf Club in Kingston, NH and the Bradford Country Club in Haverhill, MA. Each year we field more than 200 golfers and donate between $30,000 and $45,000, combining funds genated at our tournament and our annual Golf Ball gala, held each March.
In 14 years, we have donated nearly $400,000 for research at Dana-Farber through its Jimmy Fund.