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Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers (third from left) poses on the 18th green of the Leatherstocking Golf Course with the Community Bank, NA team of Tim Miller, Theo Basdekis, Brent Patry and Dave Weaver, along with Springfield Country Club Golf Professional E.J. Altobello (far right). The team came in first at -26 in September’s Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational. (National Baseball Hall of Fame photo-Milo V. Stewart)

Pathfinder Village Raises Over $85,500.00 for Scholarships

COOPERSTOWN—The spirit of community was unfurled as tennis enthusiasts, golfers, and friends of Pathfinder Village gathered on Monday, September 11 at the Pathfinder Village Tennis Classic and the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational. Culminating with an awards banquet at The Otesaga Resort Hotel, the benefits raised more than $85,500.00 for residential and student scholarships for people with intellectual disabilities.

“Nowhere else in this region do we have such an event; two tournaments, two sports, two non-profits—Pathfinder and the National Baseball Hall of Fame—all come together for a day of fun, fellowship and fundraising,” said Village Chief Executive Officer Paul C. Landers. “For 42 years and 14 years, golfers and tennis players have gathered at the south end of Otsego Lake to celebrate and support two internationally renowned organizations. It has been an honor to be part of this remarkable tradition in Cooperstown and we are confident it will continue for many more decades.”

The evening’s banquet highlight was a presentation by Pathfinder Village resident Carrie Bergeron, who was joined by her father, Tim, of Dolgeville, and sister, Katie Peglow-Bergeron, of Fairport. A children’s book author and lifelong advocate for people with Down syndrome, Carrie spoke of how Alzheimer’s disease impacts those with Trisomy 21 and movingly related her decision to join the Pathfinder community.

“I was able to live independently in my cozy apartments with self-direction support for 18 years,” said Carrie to a standing-room only audience. “I now need 24/7 care for the memory loss I have been experiencing gradually. After months of planning, I moved to Pathfinder Village in June. It’s only been three months, but it already feels like home to me…. Thank you all for the scholarship that helps me live and thrive at Pathfinder Village!”

Baseball Hall of Fame Ambassador Rollie Fingers, who spent the afternoon finishing out the 18th hole with golfers, spoke on the growth he saw during his weekend visit to Pathfinder, and was featured during an interview with Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch. The seven-time All Star relief pitcher charmed guests with tales about his mustache: how he and his teammates grew facial hair to earn $300.00 bonuses from Oakland A’s owner Charles Finley, and how a fiery little girl once kicked him in the shin because she mistook him for Peter Pan’s nemesis, Captain Hook.

Tournament Chairs—Leatherstocking Golf Course Host Pro Tim Quirk and Community Volunteers Pat and Bob Hanft of Cooperstown—announced tournament winners and the expected proceeds of the day’s competitions. The Golf Invitational was won by the Community Bank team of Tim Miller, Dave Weaver, Brent Patry, and Theo Basdekis, who were paired with Springfield Country Club Host Professional E.J. Altobello of Springfield, Massachusetts. (118; -26). In all, 92 amateurs and 22 regional golf pros played in Monday’s round.

The 14th annual Tennis Classic at the Har-Tru Courts of the Cooperstown Country Club featured a full roster of 32 players organized in two flights. Flight A winners were Sheri Holohan and Eric Hage, both of Cooperstown, who defeated Cay Franck of Cooperstown and Chris Clark, New Hartford, at the end of one set (6-1). Flight B winners were Stephanie Bauer and Jill Poulson, both of Cooperstown, who defeated Mark diLorenzo, Cooperstown, and Doug Walters, New Hartford, following an eight-game pro-set (8-1).

The Golf Invitational follows a two best ball format, dates to 1982, and has raised more than $3 million for Pathfinder scholarships; it has enjoyed long-time support from Presenting Sponsor NBT Bank and Corporate Sponsor Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. The golf event also raised $15,000.00 this year in support of the Hall of Fame’s educational programs.

Monday’s Tennis Classic followed a modified round robin, mixed doubles format, and was sponsored by Presenting Sponsors Bob and Pat Hanft, and The Sokolik family of Darien, Connecticut. Trophy Sponsors included Strategic Financial Services, New Hartford; Dairy Farmers of America, Kansas City and Syracuse; and Team Bunny of Cooperstown. Since 2010, this social and competitive amateur tournament has raised more than $270,000.00 for scholarships.

Other Golf Invitational results included: Second Place Team (120, -24) Christopher Levy, Owen Burns, Justin Nadeau, Matthew Barry of Pursuit Lending, Pro Drew Quirk; Third (121, -23) Denny Mirabito, Matt Curtis, Erin Quirk and Lin Vincent, Pro Bob Meheran; Fourth(123, -21) Mike Thornhill and Joe Pucello of Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast, with Andrew Vilacky and Jim Potts, Pro Eric Egloff; Fifth (124, -20) Dan Simmons and Bill Cartier of Sysco, Dylan Chase and Devin Chase of Directive IT, Pro Derek Murphy. Professional Skins Game winners included E.J. Altobello (birdie on #7, hole-in-one on #9); Drew Quirk (birdie on #2); and Bruce Zabriski (birdie on #6).

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