HARVARD — As if ordered on demand, a more pleasant summer day could not have been expected for the 2nd Annual Loaves & Fishes Golf Tournament played at Shaker Hills Country Club in Harvard.
With a shotgun start on holes one through 11, 74 avid golfers participating in the “best ball scramble” format teed off at 1 p.m.
Players represented all six Loaves & Fishes communities of Ayer, Devens, Groton, Harvard, Littleton and Shirley. While there were 10 more golfers than last year, the funds raised this year showed great growth.
“Last year, we made approximately $6,600,” said Loaves & Fishes tournament coordinator, Jim Hanlon.
“Our goal this year was $8,000, but we exceeded that and made just over $10,000!” he said, considering the event to be “…very successful.”
The winning foursome, with all four players from St. Anne Parish, Littleton, included their pastor, the Rev. Peter Quinn, with Tom Connell, Bradley Sampson and Mike Malone. The team shot a 57, 15 below par.
Hanlon, a 10-year volunteer at Loaves & Fishes, and in his second year on the Board of Directors, offered to organize the first tournament last year, and again ran this year’s tournament.
“I had prior golf tournament experience and offered to try it as a fundraising program for Loaves & Fishes,” he said.
Indicating that golf tournaments are not always easy to run, Hanlon said, “This year’s tournament was facilitated by the great base of people who were such a big help, assisting me with plans for the day and logistics, especially Joanne Ouellette, who coordinated all of the tournament volunteers for the various shifts.”
The fun, no-pressure tournament was followed by a dinner and both a silent and live auction.
“Guests said the dinner meal was great,” Hanlon said. “There were two highlights of the live auction, including an autographed Tom Brady photo, compliments of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. That photo sold for $300.
“We also auctioned off a 5-course dinner for six with wine pairings, which was donated by Lucia’s Tavola, an Italian restaurant in Ayer,” he said. “When the bidding reached $500 — and we had the good fortune of two bidders competing at that amount — Lucia’s doubled their donation and offered the dinner to both bidders, generously allowing us to earn $1,000 of straight donations! That auction item alone represented 10 percent of our profit.”
Loaves & Fishes is supported by community food drives combined by special events such as Monday’s Golf Tournament. Two other key events are the popular Annual Good Friday Walk and the Postal Workers Food Drive, which both significantly benefit the organization.
The Good Friday Walk provides strong financial contributions and the postal workers food drive can bring in between 11,000 and 14,000 pounds of food.
With approximately 5,500 pounds of food distributed at each of 11-13 food sessions per month, every event and every drive helps.
Mark your calendar! Next year’s 3rd Annual Loaves & Fishes Golf Tournament will be on June 13.