By PETE FONTAINE
“This has to be a benefit event unlike any other,” people were saying last Friday at Harbor Lights Golf Course and later inside the Tri -City Elks Lodge on West Shore …
“This has to be a benefit event unlike any other,” people were saying last Friday at Harbor Lights Golf Course and later inside the Tri -City Elks Lodge on West Shore Road in Warwick. “Perhaps the word of today is ‘winners’!”
There were, in fact, multiple winners during the 2nd annual Albert “Cookie” DeLory Memorial Golf Tournament played to benefit Operation Stand Down, Save the Bay and a first-ever scholarship.
For starters, 16 golfers took home prizes after the 78-golfer field finished the nine-hole event which was played under ideal conditions. Countless people concurred, “Cookie is looking down on us smiling; the weather is perfect.”
For the second time in as many years, Team McGarry (Matt McGarry, Bronson Venerable, Ken Leahy and John Digaetano) was the overall winner after carding a 31.
Women’s First Place went to Tracie Zinno, Kathie Curran, Joanne McGuire and Deb Mangina while the Mixed Division titlists were Bruce Martel, James Fletcher, Cheryl Rebello and Jenn Hendricks. Mark Flynn won the Longest Drive award for men and Hendricks won on the lady’s side. Erik Anderson and Ellen O’Rourke took closest the pin honors.
Even the sold-out post-golf steak/chicken dinner created quite the buzz from 150 people who were simply amazed with the 82 raffle prizes that the 24-member “Team Cookie Tournament Committee” solicited, that as Co-Chairs Bob Hartington and Mangina emphasized, “will further boost our donations to OSDRI, Save the Bay and the scholarship foundation.”
“I’ve never seen so much camaraderie at a benefit golf tournament,” offered Brian Sullivan, a ranking official with OSDRI that’s based in Johnston. “This is certainly a true testament of how much people loved Cookie (DeLory).”
The tables included specially-made centerpieces, which was a plastic glass partially filled with sand and two tee flags with each benefitting charities names which were again the clever creativity of Tri-City Treasurer and committee member Marianne Beirne.
Robert Civetti, a veteran Johnston Town Councilman who entered a foursome whose teammates each purchased tee signs, couldn’t believe what he called “an extraordinary outpouring of love for Cookie; he must have been a man who was loved by all.”
So much so, in fact, as Sullivan and Kasim Yarn – RI Director of Veterans Affairs who was among the special guests – were perhaps overwhelmed that the tourney featured an 8-page printed color program that RI Elks State Vice President Donna Warner produced.
Last Friday’s tourney also established a new record and had nearly 50 tee signs from Corporate sponsors including EW Gardner Golf Cars, five Gold and a dozen Silver sponsorships as well as countless donations of everything from bottles of wine and liquor that in part were featured in a unique Liquor Wagon donated by Noel and Deb Paticise and was filled with 23 bottles organized by Lori Amoroso.
“We are so proud and humbled for what people did for our father!” said the late DeLory’s two sons Richard and Scott. “We will never – ever – forget this day and the memorial everyone has established through this great event.”
To which Joseph J. Solomon Jr., a popular RI State Representative who was among the many sponsors and had the honor of delivering a keynote address at the start of the tourney, said, “Cookie was an Elk for all seasons and reasons; that’s why he will always be remembered and never forgotten – by everyone.”
Solomon Jr. also issued a heart-warming congratulatory message to the tourney committee which included Co-Chairs Harrington and Mangina, Amoroso, Brian Ashness, Beirne, Bruce Caldwell, Rob Caramante, Kathy Cesaro, Carol and Rich DeLory, Harry Edwards, Jane and Tom Flanders, Jim Fletcher, Sue Harrington, MJ and Wayne Larned, Mike Peloso, Mike Sellito, Tania Stankevich, Dick and Donna Warner and Chef Rob DeReamer and the many members of Tri-City Lodge 14 who helped make the second annual event an overwhelming success.
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