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United Way golf tourney raised $26K with double the participants

Provided photos: Dave Cook, right, a member of the board of United Way of Orleans County, poses with his team during United Way’s annual golf tournament on Friday at Shelridge Country Club in Medina. Other team members are, from left, Dick Bielak, Dawn Fox and Jeanne Whipple.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 19 August 2020 at 11:26 am

The winning ladies team includes, from left: Sherry Palmeri, Mary Guzik, Lynn Evans and Joan Weatherwax.

MEDINA – A sunny day, record turnout and the highest profit in the history of United Way of Orleans County’s annual golf tournament made for a very successful event Friday at Shelridge Country Club.

There were 32 teams in the tournament to benefit United Way, with the team of Brandon Grzywacz, Jim Grzywacz, Duane Dunlap and Shane Dobesh ending up at overall winners.

The top mixed team was Doug Clark, Chelsie Clark, Raymount Daniels and Patrick Hinkson. They were 14 under par.

Top ladies team was Mary Guzik, Sherry Palmeri, Lynn Evans and Joan Weatherwax. They were 4 under par.

Turnout was almost double that of other years, said United Way’s director Dean Bellack.

“We had to operate under the ‘new norm,’ but everything went off without a hitch,” Bellack said.

Major sponsors annually have been Baxter and Takeform and this year they were joined by new sponsors, Bidleman Chevrolet, Orleans Ford and Hartway Motors, Twin Apple Properties and Curbell Plastics.

“We received a ton of compliments from golfers and from our board members,” Bellack said. “I attribute that to United Way being on the upswing in Orleans County. Also there have been less charitable events this year, so people were looking for something to do.”

This year’s tournament grossed $26,000, compared to last year’s gross of $20,000. Bellack expects the profit this year to net close to $20,000, compared to $12,300 last year.

Dean Bellack, director of United Way of Orleans County, has lots of reasons to enjoy the day as he takes part in the annual golf tournament last Friday to benefit United Way. He not only got to take part in his favorite sport, but the tournament had a record turnout and realized the highest profit in the history of the agency.

Bellack also said United Way of Orleans County gave away twice as much money this year as in previous years, counting grants we received, such as the Buffalo Community Grant and several micro grants.

During this past year, United Way of Orleans County gave money to Medina Area Association of Churches for the first time. Bellack also formed a committee to manage micro grants, which consisted of Darren Wilson of Lyndonville, Bruce Schmidt of Albion and board member Jody Gaines.

United Way supported Project Stork for the first time, as well as Medina’s two food pantries.

Bellack said it was a big decision whether to have the golf tournament or not. But the board discussed it with staff at Shelridge Country Club and decided they could pull it off.

One of the biggest changes was canceling the sit-down dinner and awards ceremony, opting instead for a take-home chicken barbecue. All safety rules were discussed with golfers prior to teeing off, Bellack said.

“We’ve had very positive feedback, and we’re glad we were able to have a fundraising event for the community, even though we had to make some changes to conform to the new regulations,” Bellack said.

He added his appreciation to volunteers from Baxter, Velocity, YMCA, Praising Kids, Bellack’s wife Carol, and United Way board members Jackie Gardner, Melinda Rhim, Kaitlyn Delamarter and Jerome Pawlak.

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