It’s been one heck of a year, has it not? Everyone has been hurt, one way or another, by the forces of the pandemic, including our cherished non-profits. Here at sportingAcause we have seen many sports-related fundraisers either canceled or altered since March.
Below is a list of 130 fundraisers along with the benefiting charities that lost their events this past year. When you scroll down to the last event imagine another list of 150 more events that had to turn “virtual” or otherwise alter their programs. With few exceptions, these events fell far short of financial expectations.
Hopefully 2021 will allow us to resume our fundraising events, but, in the meantime, let us remember our favorite causes with our hearts and our checkbooks.
Bring on the Heat 4th Annual 5K – Bethlehem Fuel Bank
Arlington Education Foundation 5K Run/walk – Science scholarships
Shane Kinsella Memorial 5 Mile/2 Mile – local children’s charities
Upton Lake Christian School 4th Annual Eagle Run – Hudson Valley Animal Rescue and Sanctuary
Wellness 5K – Volunteers in Medicine, Berkshires
Kiwanis Kingston Classic – area children’s charities
Berry Pond Hill Climb – scholarships
Sean’s Ride – Scholarships and anti alcohol and drug programs
Sean’s Run – scholarships and anti alcohol and drug programs
Girls Just Wanna Run – scholarships, local and national charities
Rhinebeck Hudson Valley Full and Half Marathons – local charities
Retro 5K Run – Morris Recreation Dept.
Thrill in the Hills Duathlon – Litchfield Community Center
Norfolk Volunteer Fire Dept. 5 Mile Road Race – Norfolk Volunteer Fire Co. programs
Relay For Life Berkshire County – American Cancer Society
BMC Independence Day 5K – Berkshire Medical Center
Litchfield Hills Triathlon Brodie Park
Hopkins Vineyard Triathlon – Washington Volunteer Ambulance
Sandy Beach Triathlon – Sandy Beach Restoration Fund
Jane Lloyd Fund Bike Ride – Pays living expenses for area cancer sufferers
Canaan Rail Road Days 5 Mile – NW CT YMCA
Harlem Valley Rail Ride – several local charities
Junk Yard Dogs Half – Lustgarten Foundation (for pancreatic cancer research)
Tour of the Litchfield Hills – Cancer Care Fund of the Litchfield Hills
Beach to Beach 5K – Bantam Lake Protective Association
Torrington Donors Week Road Race – Torrington Trails Network
Overdose Awareness Walk – help for individuals struggling with addiction
High watch 3rd Annual Sprint for Sobriety 5K – financial aid for addiction recovery
Lee Founders Day 5K – Lee High School cross country team
Relay For Life Litchfield High School – American Cancer Society
Cerebral Palsy Walk – Cerebral Palsy of Ulster County
Free to Run Trail Races – support women and girls living in areas of conflict
Miles 4 Moe 5K – Camp Moe
Roe Jan Ramble – Housatonic Valley Rail Trail
Hogsback Half Marathon – Running For Rescues (animal welfare)
Run for Your Knives – scholarships
Apple Squeeze 5 Mile – Morris Elementary PTO
Gould Farm Running for Recovery – support programs for addiction recovery
Walk the Walk for Recovery – Villa Veritas Foundation (addiction recovery)
Steep Rock 10K – Washington, CT charities
Relay For Life Berkshires – American Cancer Society
Fall Fest 5K Run/Walk – Housatonic Youth Service Bureau
Fall Foliage 1/2 Marathon & 5K – Michael J. Fox Foundation
Norfolk Tour de Forest – Norfolk Rails to Trails
Steel Rail Half Marathon/ 8K – Ashuwillticook Rail Trail
Ryan’s Run – Ryan McElroy Children Cancer Foundation,
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Litchfield Cty – American Cancer Society
Berkshire healthcare Harvest Run – Berkshire Healthcare
12th Annual Cider Run – Wamogo scholarship Fund
Burlington 5K – Burlington Community Fund
Hidden Valley Half Marathon – Washington emergency services
Ed McGuire 20th Annual Cannonball Run – Falls Village Volunteer Fire Co
Valatie Veterans 5K Run – Valatie Boy Scout Troop 2114
Steep Rock Half Marathon – local Washington charities
DWTA Turkey Raffle Run – Center for Compassion
Great Barrington Turkey Trot, 44th Annual – local charities
Jingle Bell 38th Annual 5K Run – Litchfield Parks and Recreation
Jingle Bell Fun Run – Eagle Toy Fund
Litchfield/Morris Rotary & Litchfield Lions 19th Annual Golf Tournament – Litchfield and Wamogo High school scholarships
Murphy Open – Jane Lloyd Fund
4th Annual Isaiah Lamb Golf Classic – Financial assistance to students with disabilities
Couch-Pipa Annual Golf Tournament – Scholarships for Canaan and Falls Village students
Friends of Moe Golf Tournament – Support for local families in need
Knights of Columbus Adam J. Mahalak Memorial Golf Tournament – Local scholarships
Tournament for the Orphans – support for orphanages in Ghana
James Ducillo Exchange Golf Tournament – Canaan and Falls Village student scholarships
4th Annual Retro Dodge Ball Tournament – Litchfield Education Fund
VFW Auxiliary Bunco Tournament – VFW projects
Recreation Scholarship Benefit 3rd Annual Basketball Game – Scholarships
Pittsfield Super Polar Plunge – Special Olympics, MA
9th Annual Monopoly Tournament – Berkshire County Kids Place
Ride 1 Rally – Alzheimer’s Association
Spring Splash – Jane Lloyd Fund and John Rice Scholarship Fund
Special Olympics NY Summer Games – Special Olympics, NY
Goshen Stampede – Goshen Agricultural Society
Salisbury Cricket Match – Jane Lloyd Fund and Salisbury Ambulance
Round Hill 96th Annual Highland Games – Alzheimer’s Association
Dutchess Dragon Boat Race – Habitat for Humanity, Dutchess County
Jane Lloyd Fund Clambake – Jane Lloyd Fund
Kentucky Derby Social – Salisbury Rotary for local high school scholarships
Goshen Fair – Scholarships
Bethlehem Fair – Scholarships
Brew Ski Fest – Salisbury Winter Sports Association
Trans Am Fall Classic – Alzheimer’s Association
IMSA Northeast Grand Prix – Alzheimer’s Association
Norfolk Curling Club Bonspiels – Norfolk Curling Club programs
United Way and Charlie Ormsby Golf Tournament – United Way and golf scholarships for children
United Way Glo-Ball Tournament – United Way of NW CT
Berkshire County ARC Golf Tournament – Berkshire County ARC programs
Maplebrook School Golf Tournament – scholarships
Litchfield Open – Litchfield Sports Booster Club
Torrington Child Care Center Golf Tournament – funds Care Center activities
John V. Ventetti K of C Golf Tournament – scholarships
Immaculate Conception Church Golf Outing – fund ongoing church maintenance
Oliver Wolcott Golf Scramble – scholarships
Torrington/Winsted Rotary Golf Tournament – funds a variety of local charities
Drive For a Cure – supports a local family with health challenges
Great Barrington Rotary Club Golf Tournament – scholarships
Salisbury Youth Hockey Golf Tournament – supports the Salisbury Youth Hockey program
Tee Up 4 Autism – supports Torrington Area Families for Autism
Earth Angels Fight Against Cancer Golf Tournament – supports Moments House
Ice Bucket Open – ALS Association , Connecticut Chapter
Sheffield Fire Co. Golf Tournament – supports Fire Co. programs
Torrington Lion’s Club – scholarships and eye research
HYSB Annual Golf Tournament – supports programs of Housatonic Youth service Bureau
John Foley Lone Oak Challenge Golf Tournament – Canaan Fire Co.
Salisbury Central School Golf Tournament – supports eighth grade class trip
Hearts of the Father Golf Tournament – supports educational programs in Africa
UNICO Golf Tournament – supports Torrington area charities
Gerald Miller Boys and Girls Club of the Berkshires Golf Tournament – supports Boys and Girls Club
Fairview Golf Classic – funds new hospital equipment
Kara Zinke Golf Tournament – supports local families in need
Gilbert School Blue & Gold 5K – supports school athletic programs
Gilbert School Blue & Gold Golf Tournament – supports Gilbert School athletic programs
Patrick Quinn died Sunday at age 37 after a seven-year battle with ALS. He was a brave man- you have to be brave when you have ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease).
The degenerative neuromuscular disease eventually robs its host of nearly every bodily ability, even swallowing. But the disease leaves the mind intact.
And Patrick used his mind to the utmost. He is credited with co-creating along with two other ALS sufferers, the hugely popular Ice Bucket Challenge which in 2014 raised $220 million for the ALS Association. If you’ll remember, people, including many celebrities, took selfies being doused with buckets of ice water and challenged their friends to do the same.
That funding allowed the Association to make important advances for treatments for ALS, in eye movement communication technology and helping patients and their families cope with the disease. Many lives have been made better because of the efforts of Patrick and his friends.
These advances have allowed what Patrick called “a new sense of hope”.
So, what does this story have to do with Thanksgiving?
Well isn’t hope really the unheralded twin of gratitude?
When we give thanks for what we have today, is there not an implied hope for tomorrow?
However you choose to celebrate, we at sportingAcause wish you a safe and thankful day.
Entry Fee: $40.
What you get: running jacket, winter hat, participation medallion.
Portion of entry fee to charity: $ 0.
You may have noticed the explosion of Virtual Runs on Facebook lately, but not all of them are what they seem. Some of them are local races supporting local causes that have turned virtual because of the pandemic. I have many of them here on sportingAcause.com.
But a huge wave of what I call manufactured events have washed ashore with names like Smashed Santa Races, Wine Run Turkey Trot, Run for the Dogs, Face Mask Run and the one described above- America’s Turkey Trot.
These “fundraiser” virtual races provide a lesson in Buyer Beware.
America’s Turkey Trot, for example, has partnered with Feeding America, a nation-wide hunger charity, but the word “partner” is open to interpretation.
Although America’s Turkey Trot boasts Feeding America as a partner, no money from your entry fee will go to the charity. Instead, when you register (and pay), you will be encouraged to write your own check to support the work of Feeding America. Not quite what you thought, right?
Is this illegal? – no.
Is it unethical? – um…
Is it transparent? Absolutely not!
To be fair, probably some will write an additional check to Feeding America, and that’s a good thing.
But the takeaway here is that if a virtual “fundraiser” event does not tell you exactly how much of your money is benefiting whom, then sign up for a local event instead, one that maybe supports a food bank in your town, one that tells you how much of your entry fee goes to help your neighbors.
Now that’s transparency!
“The Times They Are A- Changin” Bob Dylan sang almost 60 years ago, and they are A-Changin still. Because of the pandemic, many of our most cherished non-profits have been forced to cancel crucial fundraisers. At sportingAcause.com some of those charities have devised alternative events to try to recapture some of what they lost to COVID-19.
Here are two very worthy local non-profits who are holding raffle-style fundraisers- Sunday In The Country Food Drive which provides 600 holiday turkey dinners to deserving residents in tri-state towns, and the Salisbury Rotary Club which helps out local food banks, provides COVID assistance and scholarships to Region 1 students.
Here are the details for both:
The Sunday in the Country Food Drive will pull the lucky numbers on November 1st for these great prizes:
$100 gift certificates to Daisy Hill Farm, North East Muffler, Herrington’s, and Silamar Farm Market. And $200 gift certificates to Taylor Oil, 52 Main, and Black Rabbit Bar and Grille. Also up for grabs is a Thanksgiving dinner worth $200 from McEnroe Organic and a handmade Star throw quilt by Krista McGhee.
Tickets cost $10 each or six for $50. You can buy them at Herrington’s, 52 Main and the Black Rabbit Bar and Grille, or call Bill Anstett at 845 206-5938.
The Salisbury Rotary Club offers a winner-take-all $10,000 prize which will be drawn on November 17th. Only 2500 tickets will be sold. You can buy yours for $10 each one of two ways: Either send a check made out to Salisbury Rotary Club Foundation and mail it to Peter Fitting, P.O. Box 646, Salisbury, CT 06068, or go to https://www.salisburyctrotary.org/, click on the “Donate” button UNDER the “$10,000 Cash Raffle” heading. Be sure to click on the “cash raffle” option.
For more information call Rotary President Peter Fitting at 860 672-5709.
Please support these fundraisers if you are able. Their ability to do their good work in our neighborhoods depends on it. As Dylan also sang “If Not For You”…
They call it “food insecurity” these days.
I don’t like that.
It makes it sound less tragic than what it really is: Hunger- stomach- rumbling, one-meal-a-day hunger. The hunger crisis was already bad enough, but the pandemic has made it worse. Much worse.
Thank God there are organizations to address this plight. The Corner Food Pantry in Lakeville is one of them. It serves people from Pawling, NY to Torrington, CT without turning anyone away.
They are quick to tell you that they are blessed with generous donors who help keep the doors open, but the need grows. The Pantry serves 75 to 100 families (around 400 people) a week, and those ranks have been growing by one or two families every week.
The Little Guild in West Cornwall takes care of our furry population. They are a no-kill facility that rescues, nurtures and finds forever homes for dogs and cats. Like the Corner Pantry, The Little Guild has loyal supporters, but although adoptions are up, donations are down, the pet food pantry is dwindling. The Guild’s biggest fundraiser, the Run and Wag 5K has turned virtual this year. We’ll see how that goes.
But today (Saturday) several huge-hearted organizations got together to run a food drive for both the Corner Pantry and the Little Guild. The Tri-State Chamber of Commerce, Salisbury Bank & Trust, NW CT Walk to End Alzheimer’s, Lime Rock Park Catering and Salisbury Rotary joined forces to run a Donation Drive at the Lakeville Methodist Church. These are both businesses that give year round to their communities and non-profits that could probably use some help themselves. But today their efforts went to help others. And help they did. Tina Hogan from the Alzheimer’s Association told me the Drive was a “Great Success”.
Thank you all for what you do!
In the past six months the crisis has gotten worse. In that time deaths have increased 18% in Connecticut according to Hartford HealthCare, and I can’t believe it’s much better elsewhere.
Over 130 people a day are dying in America from the crisis.
No, I’m not talking about the Covid-19 pandemic- that’s today’s crisis. This is the Opioid Overdose crisis- you remember, the one that filled daily newspapers just a few short months ago with stories of loved ones lost to the scourge and countless reports about collaborations among law enforcement, civic and private organizations scrambling for ways to stem the overdose tide.
It was the most important issue of the day.
But that was yesterday. In March we shifted crises. Since then Covid has replaced Opioid as the operative word, and nary a piece will you read about opioid overdoses. It’s as if our attention spans can’t juggle simultaneous traumas.
Monday, Aug 31st was International Overdose Awareness Day and it couldn’t have arrived at a better time to remind us that the other crisis is still very much with us. Hundreds of pairs of shoes will dangle from the Burrand Bridge in Vancouver, left by loved ones of overdose deaths.
And to symbolize their losses hundreds more would have clamped Love Locks onto a special gate during the Matt Herring Foundation’s Overdose Awareness Walk on Poughkeepsie’s Walkway Over the Hudson (sadly canceled this year due to the pandemic along with many others on sportingAcause.com).
The International Overdose Awareness Day reminds us that nearly 70,000 people in America, mostly young, die every year from overdoses.
But that was Monday’s reminder. What about tomorrow?
I don’t think there is a more devastating illness than ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). This neurodegenerative treachery robs its victims of muscular control. First it limits and then eliminates leg and hand movements, then finally it impedes the ability to swallow and breath. But it leaves the mind intact- fully aware of its body’s condition.
ALS affects the sufferers’ family/caregivers as well. It levies a ponderous emotional and financial toll. Once diagnosed, the average lifespan for someone with ALS is two to five years. It is always fatal.
Organizations like the ALS Foundation are working to support ALS sufferers and their families while also funding research for treatments and a cure.
For the past eight years Nicole Roy and Team Roy have participated in the Ride to Defeat ALS to raise much-needed funds for the ALS Foundation. She lost her father Paul to ALS over 20 years ago. He was a great man and a good friend of mine whose smile was infectious. As I’ve said in a previous blog , smiling may be the bravest thing you can do when you have ALS.
Nicole is looking for your support to help raise money for the ALS Foundation. If you are able to give, please go here to donate: :https://www.facebook.com/donate/1191671207873585/10219707843141627/.
And as Nicole says “Every little bit helps”.
The list grows longer of golf tournament fundraisers that have decided to give it a try this year. But they will not look the same as they did way back in 2019.
Courses are scrambling to find ways to keep these gatherings safe without , well, gathering. The good news is that once golfers are out on the course and playing they can easily distance from one another. The bad news is there are bottlenecks during the process when golfers tend to bunch up, like during registration, buying raffle tickets, waiting for tee assignments, lunch, awards and raffle drawings and dinner.
But golf courses are coming up with solutions to these challenges. At Undermountain Golf Course, for example, registration and payment will be done on-line in advance of tournament day, the raffle will be restricted to a 50/50 rather than a prolonged drawing and dinner is likely to be “to go”. Participants will be limited to 72 golfers for a two-flight tournament.
Over at Fair View Farm Golf Course in Harwinton, one of their upcoming tournaments will have an on line silent auction and raffle, dinner will be replaced by a gift certificate for a free round of golf and registration will be limited to 100 golfers.
At Undermountain, rather than waiting in a group for tee assignments, foursomes will be given their starting hole, and they will go straight to their tee – no hanging around the club house, and lunch will be a boxed meal at the turn.
Masks and distancing are always in order, but of course, all of these best-laid plans are subject to change.
Here is the latest batch of tournaments to weigh in:
Torrington Little League Golf Tournament, Aug. 14th, Fairview Farm Golf Course
Sheffield Fire Co. Golf Tournament, Aug. 14, Copake Country Club
Fore Autism Charity Golf Tournament, Aug. 21st, Fairview Farm
Fore The Children Golf Tournament, Aug. 31st, Torrington Country Club
High Watch Golf Tournament, Sept. 21st, Club at River Oaks
Hearts of the Fathers Golf Tournament, Oct. 8th, Copake C. C.
John Foley Lone Oak Challenge Golf Tournament Canceled for 2020
Co ARC Opportunitees Golf Tournament, Sep. 24, Copake C.C. FULL
BLN 20th Annual Golf Tournament, Sept. 14th, Torrington C.C.
Sharon Fire Co. Golf Tournament, Sept. 15th, Sharon Country Club
Torrington PAL Golf Tournament, Sept. 28th, Torrington C.C.
Again, everything these days is subject to change, so check http://sportingacause.com/ for updates.
Reason for Hope
So many cancellations, so many fundraising opportunities lost, so much uncertainty. But here in the sports-related fundraiser world there is now reason for optimism. Even as many events have canceled (and continue to) and the daily dose of Covid-19 news looks bleak, some charities are still hopeful that they can pull off their events.
Two weeks ago I offered an unhappy list of event cancellations. Today, here is a list of events that are either on the calendar or are hoping to be.
Ancrum Fire Co. Golf Tournament, August 9th at Undermountain Golf Course
Northwest CT United Way/Charlie Ormsby Golf Tournament, on hold
UNICO Golf Tournament, moved to Oct 5th at Torrington Country Club
James Ducillo Canaan Exchange Club Golf Tournament, possibly in late August
Amenia Fire Co. Golf Tournament, September 12th at Undermountain Golf Course
SWSA Golf Tournament and Pig Roast, September 19th at Undermountain Golf Course
Fore the Children Golf Tournament, August 31st at Torrington Country Club
Ice Bucket Challenge, tentatively in October
Sheffield Fire Co. Golf Tournament, September at Copake Country Club
Angevine Farm Half Marathon, postponed – new date to be determined
Jane Lloyd Fund Clam Bake, postponed – hope to hold an event in September
Salisbury Cricket Club Cricket Match, postponed, hope to hold event in September
Million Mile Alex’s Lemonade Stand Fundraiser, still on for month of September
Berkshire County ARC Golf Tournament, rescheduled for September 2nd at Berkshire Hills Country Club
Josh Billings Runaground Triathlon, still scheduled for September 13th with alterations
Many more events are, as yet, undecided . Needless to say, everything these days is subject to change, so check out sportingAcause.com for event updates.