Chairman of benefit golf tournament is headed toward impressive gesture

NEIGHBORS

August 13, 2002|By Nancy Gallant | Nancy Gallant,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

DOMINIC Finelli's head was shaved last year. This year, his friends plan to paint it yellow.

He and his wife, Caroline, are chairman and chairwoman of the sixth (and last) annual Sue Jaeger Memorial Golf Tournament, scheduled for Sept. 6 at Crofton Country Club.

Sue, a warm, generous Crofton woman, fought a 15-year battle with lymphoma. One of her favorite activities was serving as a counselor at Camp Sunrise, a summer camp for children with cancer.

After Sue's death, her friends were inspired to honor her memory by supporting Camp Sunrise. One major fund-raising activity has been the golf tournament.

The first year, organizers were surprised - and delighted - by its success, raising $10,000 for the camp. Each year, the tournament became more successful, adding corporate sponsorships and a growing number of contributors.

Last year, Dominic Finelli pledged that if the tournament raised $30,000 he would shave his head (even though, he joked, there wasn't much to shave). As the event proceeded, a "thermometer" marked the contributions until the magic number of $30,000 was reached. John Sondberg began the process of welcoming Finelli into the ranks of the beautifully bald, assisted by Barbara Barlow, who finished the job.

This year, Caroline Finelli reports that if $30,000 is raised, her husband's head will be painted a nice bright yellow, to complement the sunshine yellow of Camp Sunrise.

During the past five years, the tournaments have raised more than $95,000 for Camp Sunrise. Sue's friends will continue to support the charity in her memory, but the golf tournament's organizers have decided that this will be the final year for that event. As Sue's husband, Bruce Jaeger, wrote, "Like Sue, we've reached the end of one journey and begin another."

The Finellis visited Camp Sunrise last week. Caroline says it was heartwarming to see the kids. In one area, they were making tie-dyed T-shirts, many of which will be given as gifts to people who attend the tournament banquet.

Caroline remembers a camper she met who was working on a beaded bracelet. One of the adults was thanking him for helping out with another task. He didn't just say, "You're welcome"; he said, "Pass it forward." That is the atmosphere at Camp Sunrise. The children receive, and are inspired to give. That is the legacy Sue Jaeger left to her friends - and the spirit they wish to pass forward.

This year's tournament will be limited to 128 golfers. Check-in will begin at 10 a.m., the lunch bar will open at 11 a.m., and a shotgun start will be at noon. A banquet and awards ceremony will follow the game. In addition, the event will include a silent auction, featuring golf outings and many other items. Someone could win a two-year lease on a new car by shooting a hole-in-one.

The tournament fee is $125. The cost of dinner alone is $40. Tee signs are available for $150. The deadline for registering is Aug. 31.

Information: 410-721-7577 or send e-mail to domica333@com cast.net.

Child-safety meetings

This month, Anne Arundel County police officers, working with the Police Community Relations Council, will conduct community meetings on the issue of children's safety. In light of recent incidents of missing and abducted children, officers from the Crime Prevention Section will offer ideas about keeping children safe. "Stranger Danger" will be part of the presentation, which teaches children to avoid the lures of strangers. Officers will be available to answer questions.

West County parents are invited to bring their children to the presentation, to be offered at 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at the Western District police station, 8273 Telegraph Road in Odenton.

Information: 410-222-8700.

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