Kennedy Center Golf Classic reaches milestone

This year’s Kennedy Center Charity Golf Classic is full of many milestones.

Not is it commemorating its silver anniversary with over 25 years of great golfing memories on Monday, June 13, but they are celebrating 25 years of helping people with disabilities as well as inspiring our junior golfers who play annually in the tournament at the Shorehaven Country Club.

The Classic benefits children and adults with disabilities in the community and will enable The Kennedy Center to continue to provide the supports needed for them to live a productive and fulfilling life. The Kennedy Center, a community-based rehabilitation organization, currently serves 2,400 individuals annually from birth through seniors who have disabilities or special needs.

Golfers also get a chance to encourage junior golfers throughout the state.  Pairing junior golfers with adult golfers was first introduced to the tournament by the late Fred and Fran Ahlbin, long-time Fairfield residents.

This scholarship program has awarded over $255,000 to more than 525 junior golfers to pursue their college education. Selection is based on academic achievement, school and community leadership, and golf proficiency and is open to junior golfers aged 15 through 18, who play free of charge in the 18-hole tournament.

The Junior Scholarship and Title Sponsors of the Silver Anniversary of the Classic are the families of Diane Thompson of Sandy Hook and Julie and Doug Conley of Olney, Maryland, in memory of Fred and Fran Ahlbin.

Other major sponsors deserving credit for their generosity include: Merit Insurance in Shelton as the Presenting Sponsor; R.D. Scinto as the Championship Sponsor;  Donahue & Brown, LLC in Fairfield and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of CT, Invitational Sponsors; and People’s United Bank as the Golf Ball Sponsor.

For the 25th year in a row, the Probus Club is providing volunteer support to the tournament.   This Greater Bridgeport civic organization assists organizations that serve people with disabilities.

Trumbull residents Stephen Donahue and Sean Carroll are co-chairing the tournament. Other committee members are: Trumbull residents Stephen Burke, Joseph Dennin, and Martin D. Schwartz; Fairfield residents Bill Gill and John Ryan;  Jo Ann McMullan of Westport; Shelton residents Steve Smith, Michael Klein, and Gina Ciliberto; Marie Shimchick of Norwalk, and Deb Kane of Derby.

The individual player fee of $350 includes lunch, an afternoon scramble or best ball tournament featuring foursomes matched with a junior golfer, a social hour and awards reception, sit-down dinner and numerous golf prizes.  For one lucky golfer, a hole-in-one jackpot of $100,000 will be awarded.

The tournament opens with registration and lunch at 11 a.m., followed by a shotgun tee-off format at 12:30 p.m. The evening’s festivities include a social hour, dinner and awards beginning at 5 p.m.

Sponsorship opportunities, player reservations and junior golf applications are available by contacting at The Kennedy Center,203-365-8522, extension 216 or visiting thekennedycenterinc.org.

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