Scalleys Shamrocks and Shots. A golf tournament to remember. Reading, MA
Back in the day, before I had kids, I was a pretty good golfer. Ok I was a decent golfer. Whatever, I was a boogie golfer. Anyway, I have this odd love-hate relationship with the sport, because it has the ability to bring out the best or worst in me, and I have a feeling I am not alone in that area. This post is an example of it bringing out my best.
For the second year in a row I was asked to photograph the Kevin J. McKenna Memorial Golf Outing. I was ecstatic to be asked by Kevin's sister Kelly, who is the supreme organizer of this event. This girl, who has never played the sport, somehow has managed to organize and execute one of the best golf tournament fundraisers I have ever been a part of. I should also point out that Kelly's father, Bob, is the supreme investigator when it comes to obtaining contributions and donations for the reception. This man launches his tournament work in January. Did I mention the event is in September?
I wish I could play in it, but instead I photograph the event. It is unlike any other tournament I have ever participated in. The day is overflowing with laughter and smiles. The foursomes outdo themselves every year with their savvy play. The volunteers come in droves to assist Kelly and her family. Never have I had the privilege of working with a finer group of people willing to donate their time to create an event that honors a lost friend and family member. Oh yeah, and the proceeds from this event award a high school senior a $10,000 scholarship towards college. Lets pause a moment and think abut that. A high school senior will get $10,000 scholarship for college. So that's pretty amazing.
I had only met Kev a few times before he passed, but let me tell you what I remember. His smile was infectious. His laughter was bigger than a lion's roar. He never had a problem having fun (I'm pretty sure he whipped my butt in a game of flip cup). He looooooooved the Red Sox. Those that knew him better can talk for hours about his character, his love of family, his dedication to his friends, and his generosity to anyone that crossed his path. As successful as this fundraiser is, it pales in comparison to Kev's love of life.
On this day, I spend about 11 hours setting up and shooting. Multitasking is my best friend. The day flies by. I meet new people. I forget their names (sometimes). I reminisce with old ones. I laugh all day. I drive around in a golf cart snapping photos. I comment on players' good swings, and giggle at the bad ones. I somehow manage to make big strong burly men pose for hilarious photos. Then its to the reception for food, drink, and the most amazing raffle prizes you have ever imagined. This day is worth every minute.
This is how we say goodbye
In the fast paced world that we live in where everyone is so quick to tweet about a Kardashian or comment about a political party, I love having this one day a year to work for this golf tournament. It is a day I have the honor to spend time with an amazing group of people. We all need a day to be kind, to be silly, to laugh, to win, to cry, and to remember. I think its a great way to spend a day. Cheers to Kev.
Kelly and Kevin, 2008
For more information on this amazing event, please visit www.mckennaismybestbud.com
Keywords: cheers to kev, college scholarship, golf tournament, memorial event, volunteers
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