by Jackie Galvin, director of development and communications
Each year at our golf tournament, the Little Sisters select an individual to honor for their commitment to helping the elderly poor. Over the years, they have saluted numerous worthy individuals, but this year there was something extra special about the honorees. For the first time in Holy Family golf tournament history, we honored a couple who are both former employees and one of which is still a very active volunteer to this day.
This year’s tournament, which took place Saturday, June 13, at the Scranton Municipal Golf Course, was played in honor of Mrs. Joan Blaker and in loving memory of Mr. Fenton Blaker, parents of Mr. Robert Blaker, our maintenance director and co-tournament chairperson. Joan and Fenton were selected to receive this honor because of their love and devotion to the elderly poor at Holy Family Residence during their employment and retirement.
As an employee, Joan, who served as the front desk receptionist, always provided a friendly smile and warm welcome to visitors as they stopped by to visit their loved ones and friends. Since her retirement, Joan continues to share her talents with the Little Sisters in many different ways. Each year she works diligently to assemble and decorate numerous Christmas trees throughout our home which enhances the family spirit the Little Sisters strive to create for the Residents. Since the golf tournament’s inception, Joan has also created and donated the contents for many of the beautiful baskets people win each and every year at the event. And I can say with confidence, the winners are always pleased with their gifts and this year was no exception!
Fenton, who served our home as the maintenance director for many years, always took great pride in his work. Whether he was doing something as simple as replacing a lightbulb or something much more complex such as remodeling a room from start to finish, Fenton did it with a heart full of love knowing his good works would be beneficial to the Residents. After his retirement, Fenton continued to volunteer his talents to Holy Family Residence with Joan. Fenton also taught his son, Bobby, all of the tricks of their trade. And because of that, Fenton lives on in Bobby who continues to do the same high quality repairs and remodeling like his dad.
Following an introduction by Mother Maureen, l.s.p., a prayer by our chaplain, Father E. Francis Kelly, and music by the Kearns Brothers Pipe and Drum band, the golfers took off to the course at 1 p.m. to begin an afternoon of vigorous play on an absolutely beautiful day.
After four hours of golf, the foursomes returned to the clubhouse to enjoy a delicious buffet dinner and discover which baskets and gift certificates they won. Following dinner, Mother Maureen presented Joan with a beautiful plaque affixed with a medallion of St. Jeanne Jugan and a bouquet of flowers as a token of Holy Family Residence’s appreciation.
As you can see, we really did have what I deem as our best golf tournament yet. And in order for an event of this magnitude to be planned and run smoothly, it takes hard work and great commitment from many people. The Little Sisters extend their heartfelt gratitude to our tournament co-chairmen Patrick J. Sheridan, Gene Cosgrove, Chris James, and Bob Blaker as well as our dedicated committee members and volunteers: Aileen Alunni, Debbi Bean, Lisa Blaker, Charlie Butler, Karen Caruso, Atty. Jim Conaboy, Atty. Kevin Conaboy, Mike Crossin, Mary Densevich, Theresa Durkin, Mary Lou Fiala, Jim Galvin, Tracy Genell, Bill Hughes, Kathy Hughes, MaryCarol and Pete Kanton, Deacon Ed Kelly, Ann Kwak, Terri Millard, Bill McDonough, Bev Polcha, Barb Politowski, Pat Salmon, Kim Simchak, Janet Skibinski, Cathy Skrutski, Donna Solon, Tim Speicher, and Dave Tressler.
We would also like to thank our media sponsors WNEP TV-16 and Lamar Advertising for the generous amount of publicity they provided about the tournament as well as WNEP TV-16 sports director and anchor Jim Coles, meteorologist and reporter Kurt Aaron, and investigative reporter Dave Bohman for taking the time out of their busy schedules to play in the tournament.
To download and view our program from the event, please click here. This program lists the sponsors, benefactors, and prize donors whose generosity helped make this event a success.