BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — It’s true that Western New Yorkers never shy away from charity, and on Thursday on the longest day of the year, over 40 golfers hit the links at Wanakah Country Club to play 100 holes of golf for a good cause to benefit the Live Like Luca and Courage of Carly foundations.
“I love it. This is my favorite day of the year. We’ve got two fantastic causes that we’re raising money for and doing the thing that we love doing in order to raise that money,” organizer Simon Bennett said. “It’s a great day, as far as I’m concerned.”
“It’s a fantastic day, one of my favorite days of the year, and I know that Luca would love this, he’d absolutely love it,” Luca’s father Roger Calanni said.
“It’s two great causes obviously. My family, my wife’s family is close with the Calanni family, and when Luca passed away, that was like a family loss for us. Being able to be a part of this, to be able to give back to his foundation and his vision, his spirit, his memory, it’s really important,” WGR host Jeremy White said. “The members here at Wanakah, Bodge who is Luca’s father is a member here, and it’s a big family around here. Everyone around here wants to do whatever they can to help extend that legacy and do this in Luca’s memory. It’s great to be a part of, and it’s a great event.”
For something that started 6 years ago by three guys who just wanted to play 100 holes of golf and donate the money to a good cause, this event has turned into an all-day charity, with money being raised for both charities throughout the day.
“We wanted to play 100 holes, we wanted to play golf all day, and we thought we’d donate money to a good cause. We chose Roswell Park in 2016 because everyone in Western New York has a connection to Roswell,” Bennett said. “We then started donating the money to Courage of Carly which is the pediatric cancer program, helping children that are going through treatment and their families, that started in 2019, then obviously we brought in Live Like Luca in 2020.”
“It’s fabulous. Simon and these guys started this, and Live Like Luca we were very fortunate enough to be able to partake in this,” Calanni said. “They were kind enough to let us into this and we greatly appreciate it. It’s a fantastic day, a lot of people really get into it. Tonight we have a band playing and multiple people coming, and it should be a really good time.”
Whether it’s a $50 donation for each birdie on the day, or the players raising money through social media, after the 100 holes is finished tonight, a big auction and celebration will be held in the Wanakah clubhouse to raise money for these two incredible foundations.
“It speaks to Buffalo’s charitable nature. 100 holes here, I know the 11 Day Power Play kicks off today too, so not only do people want to give their money, they want to give their time, they want to give their effort,” White said. “They want to give anything they can to help anybody that they can. I think it’s great for the spirit of the city.”