During the coronavirus quarantine the operations of the Suffield Rotary, like every other business and organization, could not be business as usual. For example, it had to forego the camaraderie shared at weekly dinner meetings and settle for periodic Zoom meetings. Nevertheless, its mission of service to the community continued, and the organization donated $3,000 dollars to local restaurants that stayed open to provide free takeout meals for our First Responders. It awarded thousands of dollars in scholarships to graduating seniors and helped package and then distribute masks working with Masks for Connecticut.
And as many of you know, August 14 was the date set for the 29th Annual Glenn T. Packard Golf Tournament, held at Oak Ridge Country Club. A large and festive event, requiring substantial volunteer man-hours, the question of whether to hold the tournament this unique year created a dilemma. The golf tournament traditionally is a major fundraiser and helps the organization fund numerous projects, the latest being the new playground at Sunrise Park (hopefully re-opening soon). Clearly, this year’s tournament would not be a meaningful fundraiser. For one thing, the tournament has been the recipient of continuing generous sponsorships from local businesses. However, worthy as our cause, the Rotary just did not think that this was an appropriate time to ask our business partners, many of which have been negatively affected by this pandemic, for donations and financial support. Further, it was clear that the tournament would have to be played with significant restrictions to ensure safety, and the golf course, as of this writing, was still awaiting final word from the governor as to what those restrictions would be.
Nevertheless, the club decided that it was important to continue in its 29th year. A primary goal of the tournament has always been to honor the memory of Glenn Packard, and that goal is just as important now as ever. And over the years, the tournament has evolved into a place for mini reunions for friends and family members, many of whom no longer live in town. That is even more important in the year of the quarantine. So, although many of the details are still in flux (check www.SuffieldRotary.org for updated information) a decision was made that, barring unforeseen setbacks, this wonderful tournament would continue for its 29th consecutive year. Its motto remains, “Smile, Have Fun, Be Happy”, a good thing to remember.