By Maxwell Svec, One Summit Manager, Strategic Programs & Events
We have crossed the unofficial starting line of summer and as we head into June here at One Summit, we’re gearing up for another Golf Marathon fundraiser hosted by Golf Fights Cancer (GFC) on June 8th and 9th. We are incredibly grateful for our continued partnership with GFC and their dedication to supporting organizations that provide research, services, and programs for the cancer community. GFC has already made a notable impact on our work and One Summit programs in 2023. Our Boston Climb for Courage back in April was sponsored by GFC and it wouldn’t have been possible without their generosity and commitment to our mission.
In honor of their contributions to One Summit, this month’s Profile in Resilience shines a spotlight on the work that Golf Fights Cancer does to bring the golfing and cancer communities together and to share more about how they provide funding and opportunities to create meaningful impact for our organization and many others. We also wanted to highlight the teams and individuals participating in this year’s Golf Marathon in direct support of One Summit. The competition for a good cause is heating up for the second year in a row! Read on to learn more about GFC and meet the OS competitors.
History of Golf Fights Cancer
In April of 2003, Jay Monahan and Brian Oates attended the funeral of a friend and colleague, Rob Stevens, who died too young of cancer. Rob left behind his wife Lissa and three young children – Alana, Adam, and Robbie. Jay and Brian left the funeral that day and made a commitment to run the Boston Marathon to raise funds to help Rob’s family. In April 2004, Brian & Jay once again stepped forward to run the marathon raising funds for longtime friends, the Lynch Family to provide support to their 3-year-old son Jack who was battling cancer a mile from the Marathon finish line. Out of this calling to help others, Golf Fights Cancer was born.
Recognizing that there is tremendous fundraising power in the golf community at-large, Jay, Brian, and some of their friends in golf created Golf Fights Cancer, a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds for cancer-related charities and research organizations with the goal of fighting cancer and making financial contributions that can make immediate, tangible differences. The first Golf Marathon took place in 2005. (www.golffightscancer.org/)
Golf Fights Cancer's Mission
Golf Fights Cancer taps into the passion and generosity of all golfers to raise much-needed funds for cancer-related organizations and families living with the disease. Specifically, GFC makes targeted donations for equipment, services, research, and/or amenities that make an immediate positive impact on treatment and the experience for both the patient and family. To date, they’ve granted $10 Million in funding to over 75 different cancer-related charities.
Golf Fights Cancer was founded because they have a personal connection to cancer, just like you do. They are committed to harnessing the collective fundraising power of the entire golf community; making it easy for golfers to give back and making donations that make tangible differences in the fight against cancer. (www.golffightscancer.org/)
What is the Golf Marathon?
Golf Fights Cancer’s Golf Marathon is an incredible day of golf, fundraising, and camaraderie! They host a great group of people, some good golfers, some not so good, who come together in the fight against cancer. The Golf Marathon is a unique fundraising event where a group of dedicated golfers will play 100 holes of golf or more in a single day and raise thousands of dollars in the fight against cancer.
In August 2022 the first collaborative Golf Marathon came to fruition with 10 local charities combining efforts to encourage their community to participate in the marathon to collectively raise over $1,000,000 for these deserving cancer-related charities. The 2023 Golf Marathon will be held on June 8th and 9th at Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough, MA. (www.golffightscancer.org/)
Meet One Summit’s 2023 Golf Marathon Teams & Individual Supporters
Inspired by his mother's cancer battle and personal desire to help his teammates transition out of service, Adam founded One Summit, a non-profit whose mission is to build resilience and facilitate growth in pediatric cancer patients and their siblings through experiential learning, mentorship, community engagement, and storytelling with US Navy SEALs. One Summit and Golf Fights Cancer both harness the collective power of community to build resilience in patients, families, and organizations making a tangible impact in the fight against cancer. Adam is playing alongside his lifelong friends from Nutley, NJ - Rob Urbanovich, Anthony Scholar, Tom Olivo.
“I’m looking forward to connecting with other organizations and people who are committed to tackling challenges within the cancer community. The golf marathon is an experiential event just like One Summit’s Climb for Courage program. If we are looking to even the odds in the fight against cancer, great organizations and people need to collaborate and build awareness.” - Adam
Dianne has been One Summit's Executive Director since 2017 and for the past 18 years, Ed has played in the Golf Marathon to support the Jack Lynch Fund at Floating Hospital to honor their son Jack who passed away in 2006 from stage IV neuroblastoma. With the closing of their beloved Floating last year, the timing couldn’t be more essential to carry on Jack’s remarkable legacy by supporting One Summit.
"Our mission at One Summit is to build resilience and facilitate growth in pediatric cancer patients and their siblings through experiential learning, mentorship, storytelling, and community engagement with US Navy SEALs. This mission is inspiring and appropriate—appropriate because Jack Lynch was the most resilient little human we've ever known, a true badass (think min-SEAL), and it is an honor to share his life and legacy with the One Summit community." - Dianne
Thomas Lynch (Dianne's son) and Mason McLennan have been friends since first grade and teammates on the North Andover High School golf team. It will be a family affair as Thomas's older brother Aidan is stepping in to provide playing support for Ed and his new knee.
"I have always loved the work that GFC and One Summit have done and I have been a part of their events for as long as I can remember. Now that I’m old enough to participate in the marathon, I wanted to do it right and support the charities I appreciate so much." - Thomas
"I support One Summit because Navy SEALs are such cool people! For them to share their time and expertise with young cancer patients is just amazing. I am honored to be able to help this awesome organization." Mason
Adam is a veteran golf marathoners with over 800 holes in his GFC history. His son Dylan, a star on the North Andover Golf Team has been his caddy for the past few years and is playing his first official 100 holes for One Summit. The Lawrence family has been supporters of the Lynch family, GFC and One Summit for over 10 years.
"We play for those who can’t. To see how many families we are able to impact by playing a game we love is incredible. It’s so rewarding hearing the impact stories during lunch, and how cancer has touched their lives. That’s what brings us back every year." Adam and Dylan
"I play for the opportunity to give back to kids and families that are in a much more difficult situation than that of my own family. To bring a small amount of joy to those families is incredibly rewarding." Erik
"I am golfing 100 holes for Golf Fights Cancer and One Summit because if my kids were ever unlucky enough to be diagnosed with cancer, I know that I would need the support of an organization such as One Summit. It is bad enough when an adult family member is diagnosed with cancer but for me it would be so much worse if one of my kids were diagnosed and I know I would need help." - Kevin
John Cooney is no stranger to the golf marathon. An original 2005 team member, John is a skilled fundraiser, storyteller and filled with passion for any cause he represents. Playing with his colleagues from McGuinness Media Group, he's ready!
”GFC is a community of noble people making an immediate impact in the fight against Cancer tied directly to a sport I absolutely love and respect. The game of golf is based primarily on an honor system and it’s an honor participating in my 7th marathon raising funds for the greater good of patients and their families. I am inspired to do all that I can in recognition of the many close friends and family members who have bravely faced Cancer, including my brother and sister, who are currently battling. I also have great pride in the military history of the Cooney family including my Uncle John who lost his life on D-Day in WW2. This deep connection makes it easy for me to appreciate and support everything One Summit is currently doing to lift the spirits and build resilience in young children via the mentoring of Navy Seals…Cheers to the Brave Little Warriors…Let’s Go!”
"Why 100 holes? The question should be for those of us looking in is, what else can we do? It’s an opportunity to step outside my comfort zone and push through something that is minuscule in the big picture of what our youngsters and families go through fighting cancer. To be spending the day supporting those families and brave selfless soldiers through One Summit is a humbling and blessed day of awesomeness!!"
Returning for a second year our friends at the North Andover Country Club and the Fay family will be playing on their home course in August. This group of players are forever tied to the Lynch family in honor of Jack Lynch.
"I’m so grateful and excited to play in a charity event like this with my dad and my brother. Jack and the whole Lynch family are so special to me and I’m happy that I can be a part of this and support Golf Fights Cancer and One Summit." Jack Fay