Members of the Benvenuto Americans of Italian Heritage club recently held their 10th annual Bocce Tournament for charity.
This year’s tournament, in honor of late club member Tony DiMare, raised more than $5,000, which will be presented to Cornerstone Hospice at the Benvenuto’s April club meeting.
“Tony was one of the founding members of our club,” said tournament co-chair John DiFulgentis. “He was real friendly and outgoing. He had a way of making people want to participate. In fact the, bocce tournament was his idea.”
The tournament started with 128 players competing at four different recreation centers. The finals were played at Hibiscus Recreation Center, followed by a lunch prepared by club members.
“I think everyone really looks forward to the lunch,” DiFulgentis said.
DiFulgentis, along with co-chair Ron Pindel, organizes this very popular annual event.
“We fill up every year just through word of mouth,” he said, adding that 128 players is the maximum the tournament can handle. “We had a wait list this year.”
The winning team was the Brooklyn Water Bagels. Team members included Larry Folladori, Keith Ido, Alan Nadell and Brian Krug. The Hamptonites came in second with team members Dave Hoey, Kathleen Hoey, Craig Van Pelt and Paul Schuler.
“The club evaluates each year and decides which charity we are playing for,” said DiFulgentis.
In the past the club has given to the Honor Flight and Combat Veterans to Careers.
“This year because of Tony and his wife Ruth’s deep appreciation and gratitude for Cornerstone, the club knew immediately who we wanted to be our 2019 recipient,” he said.