HUNTINGTON, NY, October 5, 2017 – Pat LaFontaine hosted his annual CiC Foundation Golf Classic at Huntington Country Club on Long Island and helped raise money and awareness for the organization that now serves almost 60,000 pediatric patients per year in hospitals throughout North America.
The day was filled with poignant moments, including traditional tributes to CiC Foundation supporters who have passed on. The golf course, and later, the dining room was filled with a spirit and enthusiasm that is contagious and inspiring.
LaFontaine introduced a young children’s author from Schreiber High School in Port Washington. Taylor Sinett has committed all of the proceeds from the sale of her third children’s book, “Furry and Fabulous,” to the CiC Foundation. Her goal is to raise enough money to build a Lion’s Den Room in memory of her recently departed “Nana Judi.” The author said, “my beautiful Nana was always my biggest supporter in charities that I believed in.”
Sinett was joined at the dinner by her mom, dad and brother. They brought along cases of the new book (http://www.taylorsinett.com/books/), and those in the room enthusiastically sponsored (@$400) a case of books for each of the 20 Lion’s Den hospitals.
Diane Rode, Director of Child Life at Kravis Children’s at Mount Sinai Hospital delivered a stirring keynote presentation on the importance of services like a Lion’s Den Room in patient care. With approval of the participants, she shared a poignant voice message between a patient and her mother, recorded from their Lion’s Den Room. Without the technology in the room, that conversation might never have taken place, or could have been very different. Rode spoke about how the Lion’s Den was utilized annually for the Heisman Trophy winner visit, the Santa Connection and how it was the home for pet therapy visits with the patients. She said, “our partnership with CiC Foundation is cherished and invaluable. Thank you to Pat and Jim for all they do on behalf of our patients.”
Mike Fabian, vice president of Art Guild – the fabricators and installers of Lion’s Den Rooms – was recognized at the dinner with the foundation’s Pioneer Award. Jim Johnson, the foundation’s executive director, introduced Fabian by saying that the award was “long overdue,” but after 20 Lion’s Den rooms, it was time to honor Fabian for his contribution to CiC’s success. Fabian said, “I’m just humbled and proud to be a part of CiC, and look forward to many more rooms to come.”
LaFontaine led a contingent of celebrities that featured fellow Hockey Hall of Famer Clark Gillies. The field of celebrities included former NBA star Wally Szczerbiak, his dad Walter Szczerbiak, and hockey’s Benoit Hogue, Bob Nystrom, Pat Jablonski, Randy Wood and Steve Webb.
Johnny Glavinic, from the Croatian-American Foundation, was the overall champ on the course, shooting a 66. He was just two strokes better than runner-up Wally Szczerbiak. Greg Heinssen, a guest of Mike Heagerty, won the Long Drive contest with a bomb on Hole # 7, while Brian O’Day won the Closest-to-the-Pin contest (17”) on Hole #12. Nick Patti, Jr. won the “Closest-to-the-Goal” contest on #18.
The foursome captained by Szczerbiak – including Glavinic, Tommy Nagolo and Mike Matura took the low gross team honors with a score of 62. By two strokes, they edged out the team of Mike Dischmann, Greg Heinssen, Don Krause and Tony Trombino.
Raffle sponsors helped contribute to the generation of several thousand additional dollars this year. Donors included: Sal Paterno of Milano Men’s Fashion, the Joe McMahon Family Foundation, Geoff Dubrowsky, Darran Brown of Go Charity, Frank Bellizzi and Three Monkeys Wine.
Many golfers took advantage of pre-round amenities offered by local businesses. Steven Login of Golf & Body offered massage and stretching. His shop features proactive physical therapy and wellness for men and women looking to remain active. Shelley Kraft offered the unique experience of a hot lather shave for those wanting to look their best on the course. She offers that service daily at 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon in Woodbury.
LaFontaine thanked the Franchise sponsor – Mike Heagerty of Edward E. Hall Insurance. He also thanked the Major sponsors that included the Heagerty Family Foundation, , Rob MacInnis, Striano Electric, Lombardi Design, NHL Foundation, Ferreiro Construction, Sean McAuley, Mutual of Omaha Insurance, Jerry Wood, Delaney Contracting, Barclay’s, NFP Insurance, Patti & Sons, Inc., Automated Healthcare Solutions, TVR Communications, Unsung Siblings Foundation, Michael McCarthy Foundation, Croatian-American Foundation and Sun Seven Stars Media.
LaFontaine also thanked Jim Botto of Botto Mechanical for sponsoring the Caddies; John Saia of Gemstar Construction and Jerry Wood for sponsoring the Texas Hold’em Tournament; Bobby Walsh of Walsh Construction and Rob MacInnis for sponsoring the Premium Cigars; Vince Striano of Striano Electric for sponsoring the Practice Green and Jimmy Brown of Harbor Irrigation for sponsoring the Driving Range.