Sporting A Cause

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Goodbye 2020

 

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

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A Thanksgiving Story

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.

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Transparency

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!

 

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“The Times They Are A- Changin”

“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”…

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They call it “food insecurity”

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!

 

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I Missed the Point

I have blogged often about the large crowds that turn out for the many “Walk” fundraisers in the Tri-State area. Those throngs are a testament to the dedication of so many who support the fight against the plagues on humanity like Alzheimer’s, ALS, hunger, suicide and many more- too many more.
But I’ve missed the point. The true value here is not in the crowds that walk for these causes but in the individuals.
You see, each individual in that crowd is a fundraiser. For reasons of their own – often they’ve lost a loved one to a disease, they labor for months before the first step of the Walk. They solicit friends, family, neighbors and coworkers for pledges. They set up fundraising pages to reach a wider audience. Each person’s devotion to the cause is the reason for the success of the Walk, and their aggregate can add up to stunning financial results.
Here are some of those folks who are fundraising for their causes along with links to their fundraising pages. If you have the ability to help any or all of these causes, bless your heart! You will not only be participating in worthy causes, you will be helping to bolster the resolve of these good people in their efforts.
Nicole Roy is raising money for the ALS Foundation . Nicole Roy and Team Roy have participated for eight years in the Ride to Defeat ALS . Nicole lost her father Paul to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). Her link is https://www.facebook.com/donate/1191671207873585/10219707843141627/.
Marlane White and Tina Hogan are both deeply involved in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. Not only will they be walking , they have worked tirelessly to organize the event . Its success will be due largely to their efforts.
Thomas Sherwood is walking with Team Joey in the Out of the Darkness Community Walk to support the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP). Thomas lost his brother Joey to suicide. You can find his fundraiser at https://afsp.donordrive.com/participant/Thomas-Sherwood.
And Amy Truax will be walking in the Northwest CT CROP Hunger Walk which will be held virtually this year. Without the energy and connection that comes with a “live” event, it will be all the more important to support individuals like Amy to make these virtual Walks successful. Amy’s link is https://www.crophungerwalk.org/falls…/SheffieldAshleyFalls.
To find details about these and other worthy sports-related fundraisers visit http://sportingacause.com/ .
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The crisis has gotten worse

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?

 

 

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Lou Gehrig’s Disease

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”.

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Golf Tournament Fundraisers- With A Difference

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.

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Reason for Hope

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.

 

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