The day started with jello shots, and ended with laughter. It was another successful golf outing for LIVESTRONG and the Hartford Fireants. The weather was not good going into the day, yet that didn’t scare all of the golfers. “I pretended I was Mary Poppins” said Steve Hays, one of the golfers and long-time Fireants supporter. With over 90 golfers playing, the show went on. The day featured vodka tasting sponsored by Broken Shed Vodka, Jello Shots hand-made by Scott Hays and Shawn Suto, and all you can drink beer, mostly consisting of Connecticut’s own Cream Ale sponsored by DuVig Brewery. There was a lot of competitions out on the course, including hole-in-one competitions for a car (sponsored by Lorenzo DiCerbo and Partyka Chevrolet), $10k cash prize, 7-day cruise prize, and other prizes. Unfortunately, nobody was a hole-in-one winner, but there was a lot of other winners that day.
First, congratulations to the foursome that won, consisting of Brian Burke, Frank Adultson, Keith Coppins, and Scott Gagnon, who shot 14 under par (58). “We weren’t sleeping today” said Coppins, who apparently sleeps a lot. “For once, we showed the kids who the adults were”, Adultson said of their performance. The foursome was highlighted by Brian Burke sinking a 150 yard chip off a goose that was found about 10 yards off the green. “It was a solid miss” Burke said of the shot.
Ryan Lair’s group, consisting of Ryan, Justin Simard, Matt Vose and Charlie Gummysac took second place. “We thought we had the winning score, but didn’t see the Adultson’s score of 58 coming” Gummysac said.
Then came the dinner. This is the 9th Annual tournament, 2 years ago the tournament started a scholarship that celebrated the life of a Fireant Player, Ian Maurer, who passed away. The previous 2 winners of the scholarship were Zach Grenier and Mark Miller. The winners would subsidize their player fees for the upcoming season, including travel. This year, the scholarship committee was faced with a great challenge, they had too many finalists, so for the first time, the Maurer family awarded 2 players the scholarship, Joseph Barnes and Jordan St. Jean. “These were two GREAT players that have been part of the organization for a long time”, co-owner Matt Zuba said. The best part of the scholarship is the presentation of the award by the Maurer family, Liz and Haans. Here are a few excerpts from their presentation to the winners:
Jordan St. Jean- “Being part of the team for about 10 years means there are some great stories and accomplishments. To name a few, Jordan led an “Eat Fresh” campaign for the team, where while he worked for Subway, he helped the team diet to try to help with the on-rink performance. Jordan interned for the Discovery Channel, where he helped them film and write a documentary on the “Deadly” Fireant, which was often quoted and watched by the team as motivation for games. He has been at almost every fundraising event for the team, and has also been at every golf tournament since he has been a member of the Fireants organization. Jordan led the Connecticut Fireants team last year with 36 points, and helped lead them to a national Tier II championship.
Joseph Barnes- “Coming into last year, the Fireants Elite team was rebuilding, with about 50 percent of the team being new players, and 1/3 of them being from Canada. Throughout the year, Joe worked hard to bring the team together, often meeting the Canadians for lunch. One challenge the team had through most of the year was language barrier. Joe took an online French class (and coincidently dated a French woman) and worked with the Canadians to understand the team’s system and communication issues. He was named captain of the team, and led the team to another playoff push where the team lost to the 495ers once again, except this time taking them to overtime and almost pulling out both games.”
It was an emotional speech, but the very inspiring, as the team remembers Ian, who was a member of the Fireants family. Following this, Lou Battista gave an inspiring speech to the Connecticut minor team, presenting the team championship plaques commemorating their unforgettable run to the 2016 AIHL Tier II minor league championship.
Congratulations to all of the winners, and thank you to Lou, the Maurer family, all of the sponsors, and all of the volunteers for what was a fantastic day. Stay tuned for more, including all of the pictures from the event! Also, next year is the 10th Annual golf outing. There will be a TON of surprises, stay tuned!