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Community: Golf, the Juggling Wizard and More

by Staff Writer / Carolina Hurricanes
Doug Warf
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Monday the 29th we were happy to host the 11th Annual Kids ‘N Community Foundation Golf Classic.  Lucky for us, we were able to play the same course and layout as the SAS Championship.  This is a somewhat rare treat as it combines holes from two different courses at Prestonwood Country Club.  To top it off, the weather was near-perfect. The 27 fivesomes (four foundation donors and one Canes “celebrity”) had a shotgun start at 11am and all of the Canes players, coaches and staff were on-hand and happy as they finally had a day without practice.

Each group had their player revealed to them at our pairing’s party Sunday night following the pre-season win against Philadelphia.   The pairings party had a great atmosphere as each golfer was able to bring a guest.  This created an opportunity for those playing in the tournament to share the fun with either their spouse, child, friend, co-worker, etc. 

Photo Gallery

At the pairings party we also had a live and silent auction.  A new addition to our silent auction items was a few of our “purse and a puck” creations that featured purses from local designer Holly Aiken and an autographed puck.  The highest grossing silent auction item was an Eric Staal game worn jersey and gloves.  Our live auction featured four items with the highest grossing item being finalized as the Trip with the Team (after this return trip, Bob Gilday will almost have reached honorary member of the team status).

On the course, you saw a little bit of everything.  I will highlight some things I found interesting below:

  • As you may know, Ray Whitney is a great golfer (apparently the stick work is not just on the ice) and he enjoys a good joke every now and again.  However, yesterday he was able to combine both.  I am not sure too many groups had as much fun as Ray and the group from Excel Moving and Storage WHILE still playing high-caliber golf.  They won first place low net although there was a five-way tie between Whitney’s group and the groups of John Forslund, Patrick Eaves, Ryan Bayda and a putting-only Tuomo Ruutu (lowest score on the hardest handicap hole is the tie-breaker)  However, Ray also proved his juggling abilities on the course as he was challenged by Brooke Baragona of our ticket sales department at our “in the net” hole competition.  Apparently it is not just Ray’s hockey skills that helped earn his nickname.

  • The top gross score went to the group playing with Joe Corvo.  They were closely followed by the group of Assistant Coach Tom Rowe with Ron Francis’ group finishing third, just ahead of Tom Barrasso and Jim Rutherford.  Each group had a long-time Foundation supporter playing with them, in respective order of finish; Emil Cekada, Al Masella, Lee Kimball, Gary Thommes and Brad Adcock.

  • Chad Larose played with the all-female foursome of Venesa Crumpley DDS of Charlotte.  As a co-sponsor, Venesa was able to choose her Canes celebrity and she wanted someone who was going to have fun on the course.  I didn’t know how serious she was until I realized she brought her own mp3 player so they could have music on the course.  Chad, a 14 handicap, has already agreed to rock through the course with Venesa and her co-workers next year.

  • Tuomo Ruutu elected to not play shots from the course but simply to putt.  I saw him drain one 20 ft+ putt and his foursome said he did it several times on the course.

  • Mending Canes Captain Rod Brind’Amour and Coach Peter Laviolette toured the course at the end of the day in Tripp Tracy’s new Shocking Motors Electric car.  Though Brind’Amour and Laviolette did not play (both working back from injuries), both wanted to thank everyone for their support of the Kids ‘N Community Foundation.  What better to drive around in than Tripp’s electric car.  Tripp has partnered with some people in a new electric car company called Shocking Motors and he has already started philanthropy work as Shocking was a hole sponsor yesterday.

    Thanks also to Tim Gleason and Tim Conboy who toured Prestonwood though they were not 100%.  They did not get the luxury of a shocking ride though.
  • Tom Rowe, who has a steel trap mind (meet him twice…he will remember your name) and a bear claw handshake (don’t shake hands if you need to write something in the next five minutes) also won one of the closest to the pin contests coming within 2 feet of making the shot.  Manor Inc. provided a great prize for closest to the pin, but Rowe was only a few feet from a new BMW and a nice cash prize.

  • Over 20 Canes staff members helped organize and run the event…thanks to all of them as they helped send the Classic to a new level (especially that “in the net” group).

  • We had a recent high of four co-sponsors.  Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Gorbec Pharmaceuticals, Venesa Crumpley DDS and Research in Motion/Blackberry.  A BIG thanks to them for their contribution to our community. 

Finally, this was my second golf tournament in this department, but probably the 6th I have been a part of.  Each year you hear the same thing at the end of the day…”we had so much fun…we really enjoy playing with…”  It is a true sign of how diligent our hockey staff is in regards to bringing in players who are great on and off the ice.  Someone can fool you as a nice guy in a brief meeting, but a lot comes out after 6 hours of golf.  Thanks to the players, coaches, broadcasters and front office executives for keeping up the tradition of groups leaving with a positive outlook about the Hurricanes team. 

Once we have a total raised, we will happily announce it.

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