By Roseanne Grana
My husband Richard died of pancreatic cancer on September 22, 2009. We remember Richard best when he was playing golf…he LOVED golfing every chance he had. In his memory, we decided that a golf tournament was the best way we can remember him. Originally, the tournament was going to be an opportunity for friends and family to get together to remember Richard while contributing to a good cause. But it has become much more than that—it has become an annual fundraiser for pancreatic cancer research. It is also a setting where we are able to educate and spread awareness regarding the relentlessness of the disease and how ill prepared we are to treat it. Our event benefits the Hirshberg Foundation because they are focused on funding research specifically for pancreatic cancer. I want our participants to know that their donations will make a significant difference in our society’s battle against this disease.
The golf tournament is held at the Shadow Pines Golf Club in Rochester, NY since that was one of Richard’s favorite courses. Last year we held a raffle and a silent auction as the guests enjoyed lunch and dinner. We were fortunate to also have children volunteer to sell raffle tickets and help out wherever possible. The event brought in very generous donations throughout the entire day.
My son David, my mom and I have planned the past two golf tournaments. I am the VP of marketing and finance, my mom helps secure donations and increase community support, and David organizes and directs the event. Putting this event together has been a meaningful experience for us and that is why it has become an annual event. It takes an ever-increasing amount of work to make the event grow year after year, but we continue to gain more and more volunteers and participants each year as well. The 3rd Annual Richard Grana Golf Tournament will be held on July 21, 2012. This year we have received our local senator’s support, so we’re hoping to draw in an even greater amount of participation.