"Clubbing" at its best!

June 22, 2022

“Drive for Mental Health,” Newport Mental Health’s 8th Annual Golf Tournament on June 13 at The Aquidneck Club, raised more than $110,000 in donations earmarked for expanded mental healthcare in Newport County.

Pictures from the Golf Tournament are available at photographer Julie Marziti's site here.

Scores of local business leaders participated, including title sponsor Horan Building Company, and other sponsors including Vickers Liquors, Bank Five, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, Riverhead Building Supply and Horizon Pharmacy. Pin flag sponsors include Coastal1 Credit Union, Corrigan Financial, Hampton Inn & Suites, Horizon Pharmacy, J2 Construct, Jean & David Kelly, Kirby-Perkins Construction, and Webster Bank.  Clarke Cooke House sponsored the awards and Viti Automotive sponsored the hole-in-one prize.

The 100 golfers, guests and other supporters shared a day of goodwill and camaraderie after thunderstorms the night before gave way to sunny skies throughout tournament day. The atmosphere was lighthearted, but the serious message to the day was never lost: The tournament will help save lives and improve outcomes for the Newport County residents who are helped through one of Newport Mental Health’s many clinicians, services and locations.

At the post-golf dinner, the crowd heard from guest speaker Anthony Azzano of the Salve Regina University Men’s hockey team. Anthony is one of the Salve Hockey team members who organized Mental Health Awareness Night, a benefit match in December which benefitted Newport Mental Health and Movember. The team had witnessed the isolation and impact of Covid and increased suicides in young people their age and were inspired to do something to help.

 “Our generation brings all this pressure on ourselves. We’re complicated people,” Anthony said, reflecting on the compound stressors of athletics, school work, family and the digital age, including social media.

Hosts Bobby D. Ehlert and Erin Ward of Inspire Hearts Fundraising offered their fundraising expertise and commitment to community health during the dinner hour with a “Fund a Need” paddle raise auction which brought in a record $42,000.

“We want to be that place in Newport County where anyone can get help at any time of the day,” said President and CEO Jamie Lehane to the audience. “What we do want to do is bring people at the earliest stages of their illness.  We can make a difference.”

The outpouring of support at the tournament shows that people acknowledge that mental and physical health must both be priorities and that every one of us is affected, one way or the other, Lehane said.

Although the beneficiaries of the Tournament are those served by Newport Mental Health, there were also some “winners” among golfers, as well:

Shooting a 60, Carey Richmond and Viking Insurance fielded the winning team with David Andrade, Francis Spinella, Jeff Ferzoco and Scott Nanfelt. Emma Donnatelli and Mark Horan won Closest to the Hole competitions and Emma Donnatelli and Robert Andreozzi won the Longest Drive competition.