BOSTON, Mass – The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Banquet is the largest golf dinner in the country and every spring it has become a fixture in the New England golf community, attracting upwards of 1,200 patrons.
The 2019 event is booked (sold out) for Thursday April 11 at 5:30 – 7 p.m. for pre-reception and 7 – 9 p.m. for dinner & speaking at the Sheraton Boston Hotel.
Johnny Miller, golf legend & icon, & a two-time major champion & winner of 25 PGA Tour events who’s also had a remarkable 30-year career as a broadcaster for NBC Sports will be honored with a Lifetime Contribution to Golf Award.
This fundraising banquet & silent auction typically raises over $1 million & is a major factor in the Ouimet Fund’s ability to award Ouimet Scholarships, which in 2019 will be $2.2 million. The night is special because college students (Banquet Honorees) have an opportunity to speak in emotional, motivating & memorable moments. These students represent thousands of Ouimet Scholar success stories & are typically the highlight of the program.
Past Lifetime honorees include Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Eddie Lowery & Ken Venturi, Former President George H.W. Bush, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Nancy Lopez, Greg Norman, Peter Jacobsen, Barbara & Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Annika Sorenstam, Mark O’Meara, Francis Ouimet, Brad Faxon, Nick Price, and most recently Jim Furyk.
Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Distinguished Service Award
In any non-profit organization the contributions of volunteers are the lifeblood of its success. The Ouimet Fund has been blessed to have broad-based financial support at dozens of Massachusetts golf clubs, through different fundraising programs and from those who serve on a variety of Boards, all on a volunteer basis.
In 2000, the Ouimet Fund made a decision to recognize volunteers with the creation of the Richard F. Connolly Distinguished Service Award.
Richard “Dick” Connelly is a Ouimet Scholarship alumnus, former president & Trustee, who has served the Ouimet Fund for over 40 years.
“Mr. Connolly is the embodiment of everything a Ouimet volunteer can be,” said Ouimet Fund Executive Director Bob Donovan. “For the past 40 years Dick Connolly has been the Chairman of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament & the driving force in starting the Ouimet Lifelong Contributions to Golf Awards Banquet. So it is with great pride that each year we honor a Ouimet volunteer with the Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Distinguished Service Award.”
The program began in 1997 when Mr. Connolly’s close friend & business client Arnold Palmer came up the idea since Dick Connolly had been a sponsor of the Banquet through his Connolly Group. Connolly has established an endowed Ouimet scholarship in his family’s name & helped the fund in endless ways.
Tom Riordan Earns 2019 Distinguished Service Award
Tom Riordan has always had a great love of golf. The Milton-native will receive the prestigious Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Distinguished Service Award on April 11. Listed below is a short summary of Riordan’s involvement to the Ouimet Fund & golf.
• He grew up as a caddie at the Old Wollaston Golf Club and became a fine golfer. He went on to go to Boston College where he was golf captain with help from a Ouimet Scholarship. Two of his brothers were also Ouimet Scholars.
• Tommy became Caddie Master at New Seabury, and then the club professional. During that time he worked in golf clinics with top teachers including Bob Toski, Peter Kostis and Davis Love, Jr. A club member hired him to the Izod/LaCoste Sales staff. He eventually managed a large region during the Preppy craze. After returning to Boston, he formed his own manufacturer’s rep firm specializing in clothing and other products. His golf lines have included Arnold Palmer, Payne Stewart, Raymond Floyd, Steve Sticker and David Leadbetter
• Tom has been a member of the Board since 2001 and has been a member of the Banquet Committee since then. Every year he is a key contact for banquet sponsors and other tables, has been a sponsor himself and procured auction items. Tom has also recommended strong Board Members to Ouimet.
• Mr. Riordan has been very involved in endowed scholarships. He organized the William Maich Scholarship in honor of Peter’s Dad and coordinated the 2016 event that created the Peter Dalton Scholarship.
• Pro Bono items are important to charities and Tom has secured for us numerous clothing items and pro bono/discounted programs. In 2004, Tom helped with blazers for the sponsors of the Roche Brothers’ Spirit of Golf event. Tom also got Ouimet neck ties for us at significant discount and worked with another vendor in developing the items currently in the Ouimet Fund’s online webstore.
• Mr. Riordan is a regular scholar applicant interviewer and brings other potential donors in as interviewers to give them a taste of Ouimet. His personal history with The Fund and broad understanding of so many of our programs has made him a tremendous asset across our entire organization over the years.
• One of Tommy’s great projects is his Wild Colonial Boys golf trip to Scotland or Ireland. Over the years 220 different individuals have participated. Every detail is amazingly planned. Tonight we have about 200 guests who are friends of Tommy and many are Wild Colonial Boys Alums.