As part of their service as members of the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Board, Tom Groene and the late Bob Billings were asked to come up with an idea that would bring exposure to the hospital.
They decided to start a golf tournament. Friday at both Alvamar courses will mark the 30th anniversary.
“At that time there weren’t five tournaments a week for some type of benefit,” Groene said. “We approached (late physician) Penny Jones about it, and at first he said, ‘I don’t know about that.’ After a while he said he would do it if it would be good for the hospital.”
It’s been good for the hospital. This year, the event is projected to surpass the $1 million mark in proceeds
“We might have raised $4,000 the first year,” Groene said. “Now it’s well over $100,000 a year.”
Proceeds from the 2010 tournament were used to purchase equipment, including a nuclear-medicine camera and stress-test treadmill, for the LMH cardiac rehabilitation program.
Groene, John Tacha, Gary Olson and Harley Catlin won the first Penny Jones Tournament. A year ago, Jones’ widow, Faye Jones, offered to sponsor the first winning foursome, and they took her up on it.
“We shot two strokes better than we did when we won it, and we didn’t come close to sniffing anything,” Groene said. “There are so many good golfers in it now.”
Not to mention better equipment.
Late registrations will be accepted today.
Those interested should contact, Melissa Hess at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 505-3317.