One of the most successful charity golf tournaments in the Capital Region is going through a transition phase.
The 24th annual ALS Memorial has raised an almost unbelievable $1,378,000 in net proceeds for the ALS Regional Center at St. Peter’s Hospital, including $127,000 last year, but co-chairman Scott Daly is concerned about what will happen after this year’s popular event is held June 25 at Van Patten Golf Course.
“When we first started out, we never thought we would be able to raise this much money,” said Daly. “In 1990, our first year, we had 94 golfers, and we raised less than $2,000.”
Daly, a Nationwide Insurance agent who helped start the tournament in memory of his ALS-stricken father, a fellow Nationwide agent, said the tournament started to expand after he was introduced to the Michaels family, which had also lost its father to ALS. John Michaels was the president of Albany Country Club at the time, and also wanted to help keep his father’s memory alive.
“In 1994, after we got together with John Michaels, we more than doubled the amount of golfers to 206 and we raised around $3,000. Since then, our circle keeps expanding, as far as the number of people that have gotten involved. We kept meeting new families affected by ALS, and they wanted to find a way to give back and enhance the tournament,” said Daly.
Golf tournaments have long been major players in raising money for charity, but the Daly-Michaels combo really found its niche with the ALS Memorial tournament.
Eventually, Daly and Michaels found a way to expand their fundraising. They got teamed up with the Lexus Corporation, which sponsors the Lexus Champions for Charity National Championship, a lucrative event held at Pebble Beach Resorts. Lexus Corporation offered its dealers a chance to choose a charity and have that charity earn money from a berth in the Lexus tournament.
“We’ve been very fortunate over the years,” Daly said. “We’ve either held raffles for a chance to play in the tournament or we’ve had it as part of a live auction.”
The ALS tournament has been selling $100 raffle tickets for a chance to play in the Lexus tournament. For the last two years, the winners of the raffle have turned around and handed the trip back to be used in the live auction.
“When that happened, someone bid $14,000 for the ticket two years ago, and another person bid $15,000 for the ticket last year. We made money on both the raffle and the awesome opportunity to use the ticket again in the live auction.”
Daly is concerned that new management at the New Country Lexus will decide to go with a new charity next year, so this could be the final year that ALS Memorial tournament participants will have a chance at the Lexus Champions for Charity event, which includes a trip for two to Pebble Beach, five-day/four-night accommodations, and 18 holes at Pebble Beach, Spy Glass and Spanish Bay, along with meals and beverages during play.
Daly is also worried about the recent loss of his good friend, John Michaels, who died in a boating accident on Lake George.
“John had an unbelievable history of philanthropy. When he died, it was a huge blow to our whole community,” Daly said.
“But the good thing is that we’re still going strong. We’ve been told that if not for our tournament, the St. Peter’s Regional ALS Center wouldn’t be here today.”
This year, the golf trip to Pebble Beach will not be part of a raffle, and instead will be included in the tournament’s live auction for its participants.
The tournament also raises funds through numerous sponsors, who pledge between $500 and $5,000.
Daly said that his noon squad is completely booked with 194 golfers. His 7 a.m. squad has 14 foursomes complete. There are still openings.
Entry fee is $620 per foursome, and includes golf and cart, either breakfast or lunch, depending on which squad you are playing in, and a dinner/awards reception with auction.
Call Daly at 339-0491 for more information.
u Schenectady Municipal head pro Matt Daley said the Haggerty Two-Man, named after the late Bob Haggerty Jr., who was the longtime Muny head pro, has been tabled because of a lack of entries. The best-ball tournament, which traditionally drew many of the area’s premier players, was scheduled for June 28-29. All entry fees will be mailed back. But Daley said that there is a chance the tournament will be rescheduled for this fall.
u The Troy Invitational, one of the area’s top three-day scratch tournaments for amateurs, will be contested Friday through Sunday at the Country Club of Troy. The tournament committee will be bringing in numerous out-of-town standouts to strengthen the field.
u Many of the top area pros and amateurs will be in the field for the New York State Open local qualifier Wednesday at McGregor Links Country Club. The top qualifiers advance to next week’s State Open at Bethpage State Park’s famed Black Course.
u McGregor Links facilities manager and Schenectady
native Mark Printsky, a graduate of Notre Dame-Bishop Gibbons and SUNY-Cobleskill, died suddenly this week at age 56. Printsky served 25 years as the course superintendent at McGregor, and previously served in the same capacity at The Edison Club. The golf committee will miss him.
u Former Gazette County Amateur champion Stan Ziobrowski, who has 11 career holes-in-one to his credit, and Norm Korniak teamed up to win the Tupper Lake Member-Guest recently. The unique format called for members to play members and guests to play guests in five nine-hole matches. There were seven flights. One point was given for each hole won. Ziobrowski, who works part-time in the Mohawk Golf Club bag room, and Korniak won both the overall title and the special shootout when Korniak birdied the ninth hole.
u Albany Country Club will host the third annual Puttin’ For Kids Golf Fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House on South Lake Avenue in Albany on July 14. Sponsored by the Darcie Trapasso Tennis Camp, all proceeds will be used to help pay for the RMH renovations. Entry fee for the four-person scramble will be $600 per foursome, and includes golf, cart, use of all facilities, lunch, gift bag, beverages on the course, dinner, open bar and awards ceremony. Time Warner Cable sports director Marisa Jacques will emcee the event.
u The Eastern New York Golf Association’s weekly stop will be at Cobleskill Golf & Country Club on Wednesday.
Mary Lynn Davidson holed out with a 5-iron on the 80-yard 11th hole at Whispering Pines.
At Fairways of Halfmoon, Brian Murray of Watervliet sank a 9-iron for a hole-in-one on the 160-yard 13th hole.
Rick Brown used an 8-iron to ace the 150-yard fifth hole at Saratoga Lake Golf Course.
Also at Saratoga Lake, George Ostrowsky used an 8-iron on the 142-yard 14th hole for his ace.
Dennis O’Malley collected his second career hole-in-one by using a 6-iron on the 150-yard eighth hole at Amsterdam Municipal Golf Course.
Dan Russo Jr. eagled the ninth hole, and both Chuck Rossi and Jim Ammerall eagled the 10th hole at Amsterdam Municipal.