East Providence High School golf team tees off in support of injured former standout Quigley

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EAST PROVIDENCE — Some 18 months after suffering near-fatal injuries in a car accident, former East Providence High School standout golfer Devon Quigley and his family gathered with the current crop of Townies Monday, April 29, at Metacomet Country Club to accept a donation from the team towards his ongoing recovery efforts.

Confined to a wheelchair and still unable to speak, Devon did give mom Charlotte and sister Nicole a knowing look as he accepted a gift of over $500 from the EPHS golf team and head coach Bill McEnery. The money was derived from the "Birdies for Devon" drive the Townies held as part of their annual season-opening East Bay Scramble Tournament at Metacomet in early April.

"As long as I'm the golf coach at East Providence, we will always help Devon. We'll never forget about him," said Coach McEnery.

This spring marked the second season in a row the Townies have assisted Devin, who was critically injured in the accident in Florida in late 2011. After spending months in a rehabilitation facility there, Devon returned to Rhode Island to continue his therapy under the watchful eye of mother and sister.

Monday's appearance at Metacomet was the first Devon has made to a golf course since his accident. And it was a fitting return to the bay-side layout where he once performed for the Townies, was a junior member at the club and still holds the course record for a junior-level player.

The effort of the EPHS team was one of several undertaken by members of the local and world-wide golf community. The son of Rhode Island native and PGA Champions Tour star Dana Quigley, to family's ability to afford Devon's significant healthcare bills received a huge boost when legends the likes of Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus took part in a charity event in January that raised some $2 million.

"Devon is very thankful for everything," Charlotte said.

At home, the Quigleys have received love and support from many sources, from friends and family to the members of their church, New Hope Christian in Swansea, as well as those they have never met. Through the online community website, www.lotsofhelpinghands.com, dozens of people have donated dinners for the family while offering support in other meaningful ways.

"It's been amazing," Nicole said. "The community has really opened up their hearts to us. The people at our church have been great. Our friends and family have been amazing and so many people that we don't even know have helped. They've reached out in ways that are unbelievable.

"Sometimes you reach a cynical point in your life when you think people are off doing their own thing, that they don't care. But then something like this happens to you and you see how good and amazing people really are."

Added Charlotte, "We never knew how strong this community was until this happened to us. We feel so blessed."

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.