Golfers completing 100 holes each to raise money for Roswell Park

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HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB) – A dedicated group of golfers is braving the heat and humidity Thursday for a marathon on the links at Wanakah Country Club.

Ten golfers teed off in the pre-dawn hours to complete 100 holes of golf each to raise money for Roswell Park’s Courage of Carly Fund.

“When I first thought about it, some of my friends thought I was a bit crazy,” said Simon Bennett, who helped organize the first 100 Holes of Golf challenge at Wanakah Country Club four years ago.

Since that inaugural event, the field has grown from just three golfers to ten, meaning this year, they will finish 1,000 holes of golf in all.

That’s five and a half rounds each.

And, to complete the challenge before around 9 p.m. Thursday, the golfers were making quick work of each hole.

“I probably will feel a little sore (at the end of the day),” said Michael Gacioch, a Wanakah Country Club member who is also on the Roswell Park Foundation board. “So we’re going to take it a little easy tomorrow, I think.”

The conditions on the course Thursday weren’t making things very easy at all for the golfers.

They were greeted with a blanket of thick fog, making finding the ball at the beginning of the day a bit of a guessing game.

“It’s made it quite interesting not being able to see where we’re going,” Bennett laughed.

And, of course, by the time the fog lifted, the golfers were then contending with intense heat and humidity.

That made things especially tough on them, considering they were walking all 100 holes. That’s about 35 miles by foot in one day.

“We’re just going to make sure we keep hydrated and keep our spirits high,” Bennett said.

Still, any difficulty the golfers were facing is nothing compared to what the kids at Roswell Park go through. That’s why the golfers were working so hard to raise money for the Courage of Carly fund to help pediatric cancer and blood disorder patients.

“On a monthly basis, we have programs for these families to help kind of get them out of the treatment and to do something as a family,” said Andrea Gregory, director of special event fundraising at the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation.

Wanakah Country Club members pledged donations for Courage of Carly in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s 100 Holes of Golf challenge. Several also promised to pay even more for every birdie, eagle, or even hole in one the golfers got.

Going into the morning, the golfers had already raised $29,000.

They were hoping to hit $50,000 by the 100th hole Thursday night.

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