Amid golf clubs and carts, sponsors and sand wedges, the Brookline Chamber of Commerce and the Brookline Rotary Club teamed up for the first time for the Chamber's annual fundraising golf tournament at the Robert T. Lynch Municipal public golf course. This year, the tournament raised money for Brookline-based, Kids Clothes Club. It was also the first time the charity had been part of this event, begun in 2006 by the Brookline Chamber of Commerce.
Harry Robinson, Executive Director of the Brookline Chamber, presided over the event , offering opening remarks to tee off the day at 8:15 a.m. A shotgun start soon followed, as about 45 golf carts that were parked near the clubhouse motored off the begin play. The format was a scramble, each person in a foursome hit and then played the best shot out of those four, continuing for each stroke round.
Several hours later—around 1 p.m.—players started trickling into the clubhouse, where the course’s café, The Vineripe Grill, served hot dogs and cheeseburgers, iced tea and lemonade. In the morning, the grill had had a spread of bagels, cream cheese and coffee.
The afternoon provided non-golfing supporters and competitors finishing early alike the chance to nosh, lounge and take in the near-perfect, sun-soaked weather on the patio of the clubhouse, which overlooks the serene 18th green.
Justin Berke and George Drugas helped organize the event from the Brookline Rotary side, having also been involved with the Chamber in the past and present. In the words of Mr. Berke, having the Kids Clothes Club as a cause “really gathered the community troops together,” adding that 50% of net proceeds of the day would go to that charity.
Mr. Robinson took up the mic on the patio a bit later when more golfers returned from the links. When he queried the crowd if the morning was a fun affair, he was answered with applause and an enthusiastic cheer. He thanked the main organizers, which included Jonathan Stearns of Brookline’s Stearns Wealth Management, Mr. Drugas, Mr. Berke, Arnie Schaffer and Laura Days (of Coolidge Corner law practice Israel, Van Kooy & Days).
The head of the BCC gave the floor over to Faith Michaels, founder of Kids Clothes Club. She began by saying her organization’s story is “really the story of Brookline,” as KCC was created 21 years ago as a one-family drive to clothe one child. It is now a “go to” charity, giving out 7,000 coats to greater Boston’s underprivileged youth. Ms. Michaels recounted how KCC started with a childhood friend of her son who was unsafely underdressed for the winter and bloomed into a large foundation that ships coats from the West Coast that have been bought wholesale. The boy who she helped over two decades ago is now “a great guy and college graduate looking to do graduate work,” Ms. Michaels says emotionally.
All in all, business owners of Boston coming together for a great cause is par for the course.
By Andrew Palmacci