24th annual Boothbay Charities Classic begins with meet and greet


-- Boothbay Register, September 26, 2014

The 24th annual Boothbay Charities Classic weekend of events kicked off with the annual meet and greet Thursday night that brought together all manner of sports celebrities and event volunteers who support the Special Olympics of Maine.

This year, the event will run Sept. 25-27.

The meet and greet, held this year at The Gallery on Route 96, allows veteran and rookie supporters of the Charities Classic to meet each other in an informal setting with plenty of food and conversation available for the picking.

In one sense, they gathered to prepare for the rounds of golf, charity auction and lobster bake events that were to come, but Phil Geelhoed, president and CEO of Special Olympics Maine, said he sees it as a display of the generosity of all the individuals involved and allows his organization to continue supporting athletes throughout the rest of the year.

"The level of support we get," Geelhoed said, "it allows us to offer our events with no concern for cost. It allows us to finish our program year strong."

He said Special Olympics of Maine offers 18 state and regional competitions throughout the year, and conducting those events could not happen without the continuing monetary support from financial backers and the support of volunteers at all the organization's events.

"(This weekend) wouldn't be possible without the support of the Charity Classic volunteers who work year-round to make this possible," he said.

Geelhoed continued by mentioning that sports celebrities from many walks of life have gathered in Boothbay for nearly a quarter century to support Special Olympics, but they do not stop there.

They offer to represent Special Olympics at various events throughout the country and have shown their support in National Games years — those years that are most demanding of volunteers' time and generosity.

"That is something that really resonates with us," he said.

In addition to speaking to Geelhoed, the Boothbay Register had the opportunity to speak with a few celebrities at the meet and greet to get their feelings about the weekend and to learn why they support Special Olympics.

Former Red Sox Pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee said he has been involved with Special Olympics in Maine and Vermont and has helped with a number of events. He mentioned specifically that he enjoys being able to see the joy on athletes' faces when they get to participate.

"I love seeing the smile on these guys’ faces," Lee said. "It makes me feel good, and I'm glad they get to participate."

His sentiment was echoed by Otis Sistrunk, a former defensive lineman for the Oakland Raiders. Sistrunk noted that one of his nephews informs his giving.

"I have a special nephew," Sistrunk said, "so getting to support this means a lot to me."

"They do such a good job," he said of the Special Olympics program. "I will continue supporting throughout my life."

Near the close of the night's event, Charities Classic committee member Ken Marston spoke to the crowd about those in attendance and told a few stories about shenanigans from the sports stars' respective pasts.

Many laughed, and the stories played along with the overall lightness of the atmosphere.

The joking aside, however, he eventually reached a point where it was time to honor a Charities Classic volunteer who recently died, but had supported the event from its inception: Ron Appel.

Marston described, for the Register, Appel's dedication to the cause. He said Appel and his wife, Estelle Appel, were tireless in their commitment to Special Olympics and that Ron will certainly be missed.

Brenda Blackman, a co-chairman of the Charities Classic, provided Estelle with a plaque that read, "In loving memory of Ron Appel Jr.," and a moment of silence was taken for all who had passed in the previous year.

Geelhoed also took that time to award another member of the community with a plaque for his assistance to the Charities Classic. He presented the Jackson Libby Award to Knickerbocker Group owner Stephen Malcolm, and then provided a few closing comments for the evening when he again spoke about the dedication of the volunteers and the opportunities that the Charities Classic helps provide.

"This is a big event for us, but it really goes beyond the field of play and on the court where (athletes) compete," he said. "The cornerstone of our program is opportunity and acceptance."

Boothbay Charities Classic- Many Thanks to All

--Boothbay Register, October 9, 2014

The Boothbay Charities Classic 24th annual golf tournament to benefit Special Olympics of Maine was held on Sept. 25, 26 and 27; twenty-four years of charity and giving and another year of great success thanks to all who contributed.

Without the support of many volunteers, 174 golfers, 33 celebrities who all traveled, tee and hole sponsors, cart sponsors, those who sent money for a donation, businesses that donated items for our auction and the B&Bs and hotels that graciously donated rooms for three nights, as well as our major sponsors, we wouldn’t have been able to present a check to Special Olympics of Maine this year in the amount of $60,000 after expenses.

The committee would like to thank the following sponsors: Leroy’s Seafood LLC, who sponsored The Putt For Cash this year for $10,000, Hancock Lumber, Knickerbocker Group, Woodard & Associates, Oberuch Electric, Pine State, Carl R. Griffin, Midcoast Payroll & Accounting, Portland Pirates, MS Walker (SVEDKA vodka), Frederick Wildman & Sons-Importers and Wine Merchants, Sysco, Barbara Newell and Hannaford.

Silver Sponsors: The First, N.A., Wiscasset Ford, Enterprise, Pepsi (prizes and product) and Federal Distributors (prizes) Laurie and Josh Taylor, Sugarloaf-The Bag, Kettle and Shipyard.

Gold Sponsors: The Manuel Gordon Foundation, Ocean Point Inn, Knickerbocker Group.

Platinum Sponsors: Northcenter Foods (donates the food and product for the three day event), Ed and Marie Bosarge and family, and Bill Shea and family.

Also, Downeast Coffee, Atlantic Edge, Mill Cove Lobster and Pinkham’s Seafood donated items for the lobster bake.

Thanks to all that donated money for carts; additional sponsors for carts this year were Knickerbocker Group, Nancy Willis, Kathy Heaton, Jane Flower, Laurie Taylor, Pat and Robert Heiges, Rebecca Nelson, Gail Blanchard, Thelma Phelan, Debbie Porfido, Lynell Lomax and a few more.

The committee would also like to thank following hotels, motels and B&Bs for donating rooms for our celebrities for their stay: Rocktide Inn, Laurie and Josh Taylor Condo, Tugboat Inn, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cap’n Sawyer’s, Flagship, Jack at Carousel Marina, Seagate Motel, Brown Bros., Ocean Point Inn, Admiral Quarters and Bayside B&B.

We also would like to thank The Gallery Catering and Events (Steve and Laura Francis) for hosting another great year at their location of fun and food for the meet and greet. Thanks to the Boothbay Railway Museum for a place to have the lobster bake under the big tent as well as the use of their facilities. Thanks to Special Olympics, Mark and Laurie Bailey, Leon Blackman for putting on the lobster bake and Craig Andrews and bartenders for catering the bar. Thank you Eddie at Atlantic Edge for your help with the lobsters for the bake.

Thank you to the Boothbay Register for all of the publicity that they gave to us as we geared up for the big event as well as the whole weekend of the event. Thank you Channel 7 for being there and Don Carrigan (Channel 6) and Jeff Peterson (Channel 13) and Steve Minich (Channel 8). It was greatly appreciated.

Thank you to all of the many businesses in town that graciously donated items for baskets that were put together for the auction. They were a great hit.

Special thanks to Hannaford for donating the corn and cole slaw for the delicious bake. Thanks to Ocean Point Inn for donating the butter for the bake as well as many other items. Thank you Craig Andrews for donating the blueberry cake and Downeast Coffee for the coffee. Thanks to Oberuch Electric and his crew for providing the lighting for us for the auction and bake. Thanks to Robbie Ham for setting up our speaker system so that people could hear. Thanks to the volunteers for their help in pulling off another fabulous lobster bake that served 240 people.

Thanks to all of the businesses that sponsored the holes, tees and carts. Also would like to thank all of the celebrities that come every year to support this great cause. Some of the new ones this year included Elvin Bethea, Pete Banaszak, George Byrd, Gerin Veris, Ron Hall, Bob Allieta and Skip Lockwood. We also welcomed back Ken Hodge, Garo Yepremian, Bill Lee, Otis Sistruck, Peter Ladd, David O’Brian, Dan Sullivan, Dot Petty, Jeff Peterson and Steve Minich.

We would also like to thank those of you who offered to pick up and take back celebrities to and from the Portland Jetport. It was much appreciated by the celebrities and the committee.

Thanks to J. Edward Knight for sponsoring the Hole in One prizes, Paul Coulombe and the Boothbay Harbor Country Club and staff for their support.

Thanks to Rick and Krystal Blackman-Naverette for the save the date magnets for the goodie bags as well as the golf towels. Thanks to Walmart, Federal Distributors and Liberty Mutual Insurance for providing the golf balls.

Thanks goes to all who helped out with the registration, putt for dough and setting up the day of the tournament, as well as manning the bar and food tents.

Looking ahead, the dates for 2015 are Sept. 24, 25 and 26. This will be our 25th so some exciting things are already in the works for next year. We look forward to working with you all while we gear up for another year.

If would like to get involved another year please feel free to talk to one of the committee members. We are always looking for sponsors and volunteers.

The Boothbay Charities Classic Committee

Tony Krason, Brenda Blackman, Leon Blackman, Ken Marston, April Pinkham, Bonnie Erskine, Estelle Appel, Bonnie McKenney, Kevin Mayberry, Milton Webber, Steve and Laura Francis, Tom and Laura Blake, Rob Wheeler, Russ Ham and Krystal Naverette