Turning Love of Golf into Opportunity to Give Back | Heroes Highlights

Two groups of golf aficionados are stirring up some playful competition this summer to raise funds for a serious cause: ovarian cancer research. And though their charity tournaments are separate from each other, both groups of OCRA Heroes had the same motivation to give back to the ovarian cancer community. They were moved by incredible mothers who made an indelible impact on their lives — and the lives of so many others.

Teal Off for a Cure: Mechanicville, NY

“Family was always the most important thing to both of them, and their happiest times were when gathering with family and friends. Their bright spirits still shine strong to this day in our family, and they unite us,” said David Carnevale of his mother and mother-in-law, who both passed away from ovarian cancer. The legacy of these two women — Carol Carnevale and Margaret Noviczski — carries on with the Teal Off for a Cure golf tournament, which is now in its twelfth year.

David and his late wife, Julie, organized the first fundraiser in 2011 with Julie’s sister and brother-in-law, Kari and Joe Altieri, as a way to bring family and friends together to celebrate the memory of their mothers while doing something meaningful for the ovarian cancer community. “We’ve come a long way since that first year when we held the party in Joe and Kari’s backyard for about 50 people,” David noted. The event, which currently attracts between 150 – 200 attendees, has grown so big that it has had to move to an even larger venue. This year’s event will take place on July 29 at Fairways of Halfmoon in Mechanicville, NY. And in addition to the tournament in the morning, the organizers hold a dinner party later that same day with live entertainment, raffle baskets, and silent auction items so that those who don’t play golf can also participate.

“I would encourage everyone who’s impacted by this disease to do whatever they can to support OCRA and cancer research,” David said, noting that his family’s charity tournaments have resulted in a total of nearly $35,000 raised. “If each of those events contributes [the same amount] we do, it totals into the millions of dollars — and that makes a huge impact. We may be small … but I like to think of us as an important piece of a much larger effort. It’s this sense of shared community that helps organizations like OCRA continue to make strides in fighting this disease.”  

Get more info about Teal Off for a Cure.

Back-to-School Classic presented by Advancement Partners: Dublin, OH

It was in that same spirit of community that a group of school friends transformed a golf tournament they started for fun into a fundraiser for ovarian cancer research. The Back-to-School Classic began in 2001 when Andrew Ramspacher and some friends (along with his father, Gerry) gathered before the start of the school year for their own casual competition, with the winning team going home with the money from a collective pot. But when Andrew’s late mother, Judy, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2005 before the start of his senior year, his friends decided to do something different.

“One of my closest friends since third grade, Bobby Hogan, informed me that he had talked to the others and they all decided that the money collected would instead be donated to ovarian cancer research in support of my mom,” Andrew said. This heartfelt gesture was particularly poignant, given that Judy had been a constant presence at the prior four tournaments. “She was there for every game, chatting with everyone in the stands and taking dozens of photos,” noted Andrew, whose mother passed away in 2006.  “There’s nothing she enjoyed more than seeing her son enjoy time with his friends — and she was going to make sure she documented it. I, and the others who played then, get immense joy when we come across those photos now.”

What started as a friendly game with seven players has evolved into a charity event with 70-plus participants, a presenting sponsor (Advancement Partners), and its own Board of Directors (comprised of Andrew, his father, his friend Bobby, and his wife, Blair Ramspacher — along with Terry Fairholm, Bryan Fairholm, Doug Verhoff, and Matt Phelan). The tournament, which will be held this year on August 13 at the Golf Club of Dublin in Dublin, OH, now includes a competition for the best-dressed team and a Hall of Fame award. But what matters most to Andrew is that they’re still doing it for charity, noting that the 2023 event is on pace to raise more than $10,000, which will be split between OCRA and OhioHealth’s Kobacker House (a nonprofit recipient since 2015 in honor of Bobby’s late father). “Above all else, this is all done for a good cause.”

Get more info about the Back-to-School Classic

We’re profoundly grateful to these dedicated OCRA Heroes, and everyone making a difference in the fight for a cure! Learn how you can join them!

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