Many have asked about the background of this tournament. Let me take a minute of your time to tell you about Tony and why we have this tournament.
Tony was a great guy! He served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, was a high school teacher for 5 years and a police officer for over 25 years. He was a brother, a husband, a father, grandfather, and a friend to many. He loved his life and filled it with joy and happiness.
He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007 at the age of 59. He underwent surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. He fought cancer with his entire being always believing there would be a cure. He desperately wanted more time with his family and friends. He hung on to every bit of hope he could that he would beat this enemy called cancer. He, unfortunately, lost his battle on April 20, 2009. His words, courage, and actions left us with a challenge to continue to help find a cure and that is how the golf tournament evolved.
Cancer will affect all of us in some capacity during our lives. Whether it is us or someone we know and love. Pancreatic cancer is one of the more deadly cancers. Currently it is the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths but by 2020 and possibly before, it will be the second leading cause of cancer deaths and yet it receives less than 2% of federal research money. It lacks behind all other cancers in grant money. The survival statistics have not changed in 40 years. Today, in 2013, the 5 year survival rate is only 6%! Because of the lack of funding many doctors are only able to help their patients die with some grace and dignity instead of being able to create opportunities for them to live productive lives. We need to change that!
As I said earlier Tony wanted more time to spend with his friends and family. He wanted to see his grandchildren grow up. Cancer took that away from him and took him away from us. He would not want another person or their family to go through what he went through. So, the tournament was born and continues to grow. Hopefully it provides awareness and the donations provide help in finding a cure. Your support, emotionally and financially, helps us tremendously in our effort to fight this disease and maybe eradicate it for our future generations.