JAMESTOWN – The Italian-American Charity Golf Association held a large banquet yesterday evening to recognize and appreciate sponsors, and get the association excited for the upcoming golf tournament.
“I consider it to be the most unique tournament of its kind in the country, quite frankly,” continued David Munella, the 14th chairman of the Italian-American Golf Association, “It’s a tournament that started 51 years ago and currently what we do is we spend 3 days down at Holiday Valley in a competitive golf tournament with 84 teams, but the big thing that drives the tournament is the fundraising effort that has really been the mission of this tournament for many many years.”
The annual tournament is held every year, excluding 2020 due to the pandemic, with hopes of raising money to donate to the UPMC cancer center and starting last year, hospice as well.
“Last year we exceeded over $1.5 million over the lifetime of our tournament, and annually we set a goal of about $50,000 which we will once again make this year because of the generosity of the community and the individuals who have long contributed to this event,” said Munella.
The sense of community is very important to the members of the group.
“All the money goes right to UPMC cancer fund, so the money stays here which is very important to the community,” said Mike Giunta, one of the two remaining original members.
The event could not be made possible without the help of the newer generations, to help carry on the tradition.
“I’m on the original commity, and my youngest son was a chairman a few years ago and my oldest boy is a chairman now, and I’ve got grandsons playing in this tournament. It’s been a whole family affair,” said Jack Munella, the second of the two remaining original members.
With all the different generations coming together for such a great event, it is inevitable to see a familiar face.
“It’s very important, I still have a lot of friends and when I come here I see them,” said Maurice Paterniti, a player since the first tournament 51 years ago.
The Italian-American Golf Association welcomes anyone interested to take a look at their website to keep updated on the tournament.