Reminder Assistant Editor
HOLYOKE On Aug. 8, 110 golfers took over the greens at Tekoa Country Club in Westfield for the Barnes Air National Guard Base 11th Annual Charity Golf Tournament.
The tournament, which has raised almost $35,000 over the last 11 years, collected approximately $7,000 this year for critical improvements to the Holyoke Soldiers Home.
"The event allowed the unit to donate an additional $7,000 to the soldiers home for modernization and upgrades that they otherwise would not have been able to afford," Capt. Matthew Mutti, wing executive staff officer, said.
He added that this year's contribution to the Holyoke Soldiers Home matches their highest ever the tournament also raised $7,000 last year. Mutti noted that last year's donation was used to replace outdated televisions throughout the facility.
"It is important for us to be active in the community, and this tournament allows us to do that while making a difference to those who have sacrificed so much," Fire Station Lt. Lawrence Buell, also the tournament director, said. "This tournament draws competitors and supporters from around Western Massachusetts, working together to benefit the men and women whom have made extreme sacrifices for our liberties and freedoms."
Mutti noted that the tournament was able to raise such a large amount of funds due to the generosity of each golfer and the numerous sponsors.
Maggie Feyre, recreation director at the Holyoke Soldiers Home, explained that the money raised by this tournament is critical to funding upgraded technology and activities that the 290 soldiers living at the home would otherwise live without.
"In this day in age we do have some cutbacks but we can utilize these monies to benefit the veterans who live here," she said.
Since the 1950s, the Holyoke Soldiers Home has been providing long-term care and outpatient services for veterans including domiciliary care for ambulatory veterans, social work, supportive care and pastoral care services.