But she knows full well what a golf legend he was.
“It’s more that I play with the spirit of him,” said Ashley, a senior at Portsmouth High School who’s hosting a golf tournament next month to raise money for the Frank “Sugar” Roggero Memorial Scholarship Fund and the Portsmouth 375th celebration. “My dad’s been bringing me out since I was 4, and every time we’re out, it’s ‘grandpa this, grandpa that.’ I get so many stories from members about my grandfather and how much they wish he was still here for me.”
Known to many as “Sugar,” Frank Roggero was a Portsmouth resident and an outstanding athlete who loved the game of golf. Even in his absence, he’s influenced Ashley’s game and her life direction, she said.
Ashley’s no slouch on the links herself. She’s been on the PHS golf team for four years and hopes to study in the PGA Golf Management Program while playing collegiate golf starting in the fall of 2014. (She’s currently considering Methodist University or North Carolina State.)
She has competed in many U.S. Challenge Cup, Oceanstate, RIWGA and local club tournaments. Now she’s focusing on hosting her own tournament with the goal of raising the start-up monies for a scholarship fund, which will assist a graduating PHS student who played for the school’s golf team and is continuing his or her education.
The Sweet Swing Golf Tournament, which is being organized in conjunction with her senior project, will also feature a contest on one hole to benefit the Portsmouth 375th celebration. All proceeds from the hole will raise money to preserve Portsmouth historical documentation at the Portsmouth Free Library. The tournament will also make a monetary donation in support of the 375th events.
After the tournament, Ashley has another golf event she plans to organize as part of her senior project.
“I’m thinking about doing a unified camp — one day for the high school and one day for the middle school,” she said, adding that she hopes to have the camp in January or February. The camp would focus mainly on putting and be held inside one of the school’s two gyms, she said.
The high school currently has unified sports programs — for students with disabilities — in basketball and volleyball, but not for golf.
About the tournament
The Sweet Swing Golf Tournament will be held at Green Valley Country Club, 371 Union St., on Sunday, Oct. 6.
Registration begins at 10 a.m. and the four-person scramble starts at 11 a.m., with staggered tee times until about 1 p.m. Requests for particular tee times will be taken on a first-come first-served basis and must be received by Oct. 4.
There’s also a Facebook event page set up for the tournament (www.facebook.com/events/332577500210443), which includes a link to an online form. Interested players can also sign up at Green Valley and a few other places around town.
Ashley is seeking the support of the community in the form of volunteers, donors and players.
“We’re hoping for 50 to 60 people” to sign up for the tournament, Ashley said.
For more information or to help out, contact Ashley at Roggeroa14@gmail.com or 401/683-2117.