"Blue Collar" golf tournament keeps people coming back.
COVENTRY, Conn. – Like the weather turning cool and the leaves changing color, the annual MS fundraiser hosted by Mike Morell and his brother, Glenn, is a yearly rite of autumn.
“It’s definitely become a tradition and everyone knows that when September comes around, we’re going to be hosting our tournament,” shared Mike. “It means a lot to our family and friends and we’re looking forward to another great turnout this year.”
The 10th Annual Morell Invitational Golf Tournament takes place Friday, Sept. 23, at the Skungamaug River Golf Course in Coventry. The tournament will have a shotgun start at 10 a.m. with four-man scramble teams and there will be a post-tournament party at the French Club Pavilion, located on Country Club Road in Windham.
Mike and his brother Glenn began their MS fundraising in 1988 with a basketball tournament to raise funds in honor of their late mother, who battled the disease. In 2002, the brothers decided to move in a different direction and the golf tournament was born. With a few years off, this year marks their 20th event.
“The tournament has been going great and we’re excited about returning to Skungamaug River Golf Course,” said Mike. “We’re expecting to have between 130 and 140 golfers and it’s going to be a wonderful time again.”
Last year, the tournament raised nearly $5,000 for the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter and it has raised more than $35,000 since its creation in 2002.
“We started the basketball tournament, and now the golf tournament, to honor our mother and keep her memory alive,” described Mike. “We truly believe we’ve been able to do that and that’s why we love doing it every year. When you come to our tournament, you’re going to enjoy a laid-back, blue collar afternoon with people who truly care about finding a cure for MS.”
The tournament’s committee members include Mike Morell, of Columbia, Glenn Morell, of Hampton, Alan Phaneuf, of Columbia, Mark Valliere, of Lebanon and Darren Chick, of Willimantic. Also helping in the efforts are two leading ladies; Jillian Elliott of Hampton, and Penny Sullivan of Scotland.
More than 6,000 Connecticut residents live with the effects of multiple sclerosis. The cause is unknown, and, as a result, there currently is no cure. Symptoms can include, among other things, numbness in the limbs, difficulties with vision and speech, stiffness and, in some more severe cases, total paralysis. The progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot be predicted.
Funds raised through events, such as the 10th Annual Morell Invitational Golf Tournament, ensure ongoing scientific research to find a cure and provide for the continuation of vital programs and services offered by the chapter.
The registration fee is $95 per person and includes a 20th anniversary T-shirt, beer koozies, 18 holes of golf with cart, dinner, cash bar and prizes for first, second and third place as well as long drive and closest to the pin contest. Following the tournament there will be a slide-show with pictures from the event’s 20 year history as well as live entertainment provided by Mike’s stepson Connon D’Auteuil, who will also play a Jimi Hendrix rendition of the Star Spangled Banner to kick the tournament off.
For more information on the tournament or to register, please contact Mike Morell at 860-228-5046 or Glenn Morell at 860-455-9095.
To learn more about multiple sclerosis, its effects and the many ways to become involved, please visit the National MS Society, Connecticut Chapter’s Web site at www.ctfightsMS.org.