CCARCâ€™s years of giving back to the community reaches a milestone this year as the care center for people with disabilities will be hosting its 50th annual golf open Wednesday at Timberlin Golf Club in Berlin.
In addition to celebrating 50 years of the event, CCARC will also be celebrating the efforts of co-chairs John Barbieri and Patty Strazzulla who have been working with this even for more than 40 and 35 years, respectively.
â€śThe most important thing was the quality of life that the people with special needs have and advancing that quality of life,â€ť Strazzulla said. â€śEverything else to me was secondary to that goal and it was my goal to achieve that.â€ť
Since its inception, the open has raised more than $1.1 million in profits for CCARC. This year alone brought in $96,000 from just sponsorships.
â€śItâ€™s amazing to me that in these times with all that is going on in the world with the virus, unrest, the protests, so many people and organizations have stepped up,â€ť Barbieri said. â€śThis is the best year weâ€™ve had as far as donations to support the tournament.â€ť
The openâ€™s scheduling was not impacted by the coronavirus pandemic as it is always held this time of year, but this yearâ€™s event will have two start times as a coronavirus accommodation, which additionally allows the open to register more golfers. There will be 148 participants hitting the lynx between the 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. tee offs and are asked to obey all social distancing guidelines as they compete for more than 25 prizes including 2021 Red Sox tickets and an overnight stay in Boston, an HP Laser Jet Office color printer and rewards at various local golf courses.
Masks will be provided to all participants as the organizers are very confident in their capabilities to conduct a safe event. Strazzulla said they were unsure if they would be able to put the tournament together amid the pandemic, but worked together to find solutions to previously unforeseen problems.
The tournament is still open to anyone still interested in signing up to play and those people should visit CCARCâ€™s website.
â€śPeople want to do something and they want to do something good,â€ť CCARC CEO Anne Ruwet said. â€śWe were very fortunate to have early-on support for the tournament.â€ť