Golf Tourney to Benefit Homeless Shelter
It’s a fact that there are so many golf tournaments this time of the year that it seems every decent player or hacker has a choice to play during the week, a weekend, for a good cause or just hanging out with the boys.
So when Southington’s Dana Rickard decided that a small building in Hartford was helping homeless people under terrible conditions despite a devoted and underpaid director, he decided to call upon six friends to serve as volunteers. Their task? To organize a major golf tournament to benefit the Hartford Rescue Mission and raise an amount of money that would triple what Rickard had helped the local Chamber to raise in three consecutive tournaments.
The founder and owner of CompuMail, a direct mail, marketing company in Southington, Rickard has been a frequent player in the Boston Red Sox fantasy league in Florida. Over the years he befriended numerous former Red Sox players who annually would travel to town to be the featured celebrities. This year, however, Rickard gathered a select group of people to use their specific skills to assist in the first annual tournament set for Tuesday, September 27 with tee-off at 10 a.m. The chosen committee is comprised of two Southington persons, one from Manchester, two from Bristol and two from the Hartford area.
“We needed to play the event at what is regarded as the best course in New England with a first class venue,” says Rickard, a former Bristol baseball standout. The group chose the Lake of Isles course at Foxwoods in North Stonington. For months, the committee has sought out major sponsors and celebrities and so far about 10 former Sox players have committed to play. They include pitcher Luis Tiant, who has worn the pin stripes of the Yankees as well as the Red Sox. Rick Miller, Jim Corsi, Bill Campbell and others will travel to Foxwoods without a fee. “They are eager to help us raise funds,” noted Rickard who recalls that the Hartford Rescue Mission is in dire need of a renovated kitchen, sleeping quarters and even an outdoor sign.
The event will feature the best Foxwoods has to offer with amenities specifically food throughout the day and at dinner when players can mingle with the celebrities. In addition, Foxwoods has provided reduced rates for overnight stays at the adjoining hotel for players.
The founder and director of the Hartford Rescue Mission started in 2004 after moving the shelter from Meriden. His name is Gregory Woods, a graduate of Xavier High, University of Kentucky and more recently, a former pro football player with the St. Louis Cardinals. Woods is paid a bare minimum and is a dedicated servant to those in need.
This venture won’t be easy and raising close to $100,000 may seem impractical, but the committee believes the challenge is worth the effort. Perhaps the mission statement of the shelter will inspire people to learn more: “The mission exists to offer help, hope and the life changing message of God’s love in Jesus Christ to the homeless and needy of central Connecticut.”