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Fight cancer with a round of golf

By Rick Sobey Staff Intern Jeffrey Vinick was a healthy three-sport varsity athlete at Longmeadow High School in 1981. But in 1982, the then 18-year-old freshman at Springfield College lost his battle with cancer. The 30th Annual Jimmy Fund Golf Tournament, also named in honor of Vinick, will be taking place on June 15 at four local golf courses. This tournament was renamed in his honor because of his unrelenting dedication to the Jimmy Fund. Jim Vinick, Jeffrey's father, said his son continues to have a significant impact on society. "His impact on the community was felt when he was alive, while he was sick and even now, many years after his death," he said. The tournament will take place at Crestview Country Club in Agawam; The Ranch Golf Club in Southwick; Ellington Ridge Country Club in Ellington, Conn.; and Wintonbury Hills Golf Course in Bloomfield, Conn. After the rounds of golf, the day will conclude with an evening at Chez Josef in Agawam. The golf tournament raises money for cancer research and treatment at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The goal of the 2009 tournament is to raise over $500,000. If this goal is reached, the event's lifetime Jimmy Fund contribution would surpass $8 million. Marc Packin, chair of the tournament, oversees a committee of 40 volunteers and is grateful for everything they do to help. "I couldn't ask for a better group of core volunteers and committee members to work with," Packin said. "It's a great cause, mixed with a great group of people and I couldn't be prouder to be a part of it. "In a challenging year like this, I am especially proud with the local businesses," Packin continued. "The economy has struggled, yet businesses still donate. It shows how much the Jimmy Fund has touched people." The evening program at Chez Josef will celebrate the golf tournament's 30th year. This program will include a live auction, a silent auction, and a raffle drawing. Participants will have the chance to win New England Patriots season tickets, a trip to Ireland, a three night stay at Canyon Ranch, and reserve wine cellar items and tickets to the 2009 Basketball Hall of Fame induction celebration dinner. Player spots, sponsorship opportunities, donations, auction items and dinner reservations are still available. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, registering to play or making a donation, contact the Western New England Jimmy Fund Office at 888-546-6938 or visit www.vinick.kintera.org.

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