Porricelli tournament will tee off to support Abilis

Local grocer Jerry Porricelli Jr. will be honored for his decades of support for Abilis, people with disabilities, and local charities during the Golf for Abilis charity tournament at Trump National Golf Club in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y. on Monday, Oct. 15 .

“We can’t think of a school, club or nonprofit in Greenwich that hasn’t known the generosity of Porricelli’s Market or the Porricelli family over the years,” said Lolli Ross, Abilis executive director. “On Oct. 15, we at Abilis will honor Jerry and this incredible spirit of local giving that has helped to define our community.”

Porricelli’s Market hosted a charity celebrity golf tournament in Old Greenwich for 24 years to benefit many local groups including Abilis (formerly ARC), which supports people of all ages in Greenwich and Stamford with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other developmental disabilities.

Over the years The Jerry Sr. Memorial Celebrity Golf Tournament raised nearly $1 million for local causes.

For the last 12 years, Abilis has been the sole beneficiary of the Jerry Sr. tournament, which drew celebrities from worlds of sports, media and entertainment to play golf in Old Greenwich every August.

Porricelli’s Market recently announced that it sold its Old Greenwich store to Kings Food Markets of New Jersey, ending a more than 50-year presence in town.

“I am very humbled to receive this honor, but it has to be shared with all those at Abilis, whose efforts helped to make our tournament so popular for so many years,” Mr. Porricelli said. “I am delighted that Golf for Abilis is going forward this year at Trump National. The Trump course has the reputation as one of the area’s best, with five-star cuisine and luxury accommodations that are second to none.”

He added, “I’m grateful the opportunity to raise funds through Golf for Abilis for such a worthy nonprofit. Abilis supports people in our area with very significant disabilities, from newborns through people in their senior years. They are the most vulnerable members of our community.”

The all-day event features full breakfast and access to practice range, lunch and a shotgun start at noon, cocktail reception and dinner, and top-flight beverages and snacks throughout the day. The 18-hole Trump course is best known for the 101-foot natural waterfall at the course’s signature 13th hole. Registration and sponsorships are available through Abilis.us/golf.

The Porricellis’ ties to Abilis are long and deep. Jerry Porricelli Sr., the tournament’s namesake, was the first employer in Greenwich to hire people with disabilities, a tradition that has continued for years at Porricelli’s Market.

“Like me, dad was struck by the fact that this is not a glitzy cause,” Mr. Porricelli said. “Families with loved ones with disabilities live in secret. They don’t wear lapel pins announcing it or that they have survived it or that disabilities have been ‘cured’, much as they might want to. My intent, and that of my entire family, has always been to bring awareness to Abilis’ incredible work in our community and promote the sort of understanding that creates the best possible care for people who are so deserving of it.”

For more information contact Joy Haenlein at 203-531-1880, ext. 161, or e-mail her at [email protected]

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