By Joan Warren
BARRINGTON—Hazy, hot and humid conditions didn’t deter golf fans at a well-attended CVS Caremark Charity Classic on Monday, June 24 at Rhode Island Country Club.
With not a cloud in the sky, tournament play got underway at 10:30 a.m. after an exhibition of golf techniques and some lighthearted fun.
At the first tee, three generations from the DiMatteo family of Barrington were on hand to see their friend and event co-host Brad Faxon tee off. Family patriarch Tony and wife Rita, along with their son Joe and grandson Rocco have attended the Classic every year since its inception 14 years ago.
“We come every year, rain or shine, and for all three days,” Mrs. DiMatteo said. Wearing a cast after breaking her wrist, Mrs. DiMatteo sported a get well note signed by her friend Brad Faxon.
Her son Joe, owner of Everready Electric, grew up with Brad and his company does the electrical set up for the tournament.
“I also sponsored a player for all but two years, including Brad one year,” he said.
When asked what is entailed in sponsoring a player he said it’s really just being a “glorified chauffeur” — picking the player up at the airport, bringing them to their hotel, bringing them to the club. He took this year off from sponsoring, he said, to spend the day with his family at the tournament, but he has enjoyed giving back to CVS and the classic which has raised more than $16 million for local charities over the years.
Each golfer has a local charity they are playing for including Meeting Street School, Red Cross RI and the March of Dimes, among a total of 20 different charitable organizations.
One charity is the San Miguel School, a Providence middle school for boys. Marinanne Allen, who works in the development office at the school, said the tournament has been very generous to them. She said she was thrilled when they announced that this year, the students would actually participate at the event with the All Kids Can Three-Hole Challenge. The kids challenge consisted of four teams of four golfers that play the last three holes on the course, assisted by a Barrington High School All State golf team member.
“It’s fun to get the kids involved. We have two boys here from San Miguel and they are part of the Rickie Fowler team charity Children’s Wishes. This lets the kids get a real feel for the game and it’s nice for us to participate and give back to CVS. The high school golfer assigned to us, Jack Vanier, has been great,” Ms. Allen said.
The four groups will take a group picture with their sponsor, and the boys were excited to meet Ricki Fowler, especially since they were outfitted with bright orange golf clothes and matching golf bags, donated by Puma, Mr. Fowler’s sponsor.
CVS was not the only group raising money for a good cause. A group of girls set up a lemonade stand at the corner of Nayatt Road and the RICC property to raise money for the Boston One Fund. Blakely Dimeo and her friends, who all attend the Gordon School, baked cookies and brownies to sell under the trees on her lawn which abuts the club.
“We have been doing this for 7 years and gave the money we made from all those years to Women and Infants Hospital, but this year we decided to raise money for the marathon fund,” she said.
She and her friends reportedly sent the hospital a check for more than $6,700. That’s a lot of lemonade and baked goods, but worth every moment to the girls who were having a good time despite the 91 degree temperature and 70 percent humidity.