Novins Memorial Golf Tournament Raises $65,000
The 12th annual Robert F. Novins Memorial Golf Tournament at the Sailfish Golf Club raised $65,000 for the Volunteers in Medicine Clinic. It was an enormous success for the popular event and marks the start of a wonderful new partnership.
The brother and sister team of Beth and Carson Novins started the tournament in memory of their father, who died of colon cancer. Over the years, they’ve raised over $500,000 for cancer services at Martin Health Systems. This year, the Novins, who are local business owners, decided to switch beneficiaries to VIM Clinic.
“If my father were alive, I know he’d have chosen VIM Clinic,” said Carson Novins. “They’re such a small organization with a huge heart. They do so much good for so many people in the community.”
One of those people is Cindy Hunter, 57. She was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer over a year ago, after she had lost her job and became a VIM Clinic patient. Hunter’s friends and family have been fundraising for the clinic ever since. She and daughter Kelly Hunter attended the Friday night pre-tournament reception at Carsons Tavern, where Kelly addressed the crowd.
“My mother wouldn’t be here today without Volunteers in Medicine,” Kelly Hunter told the gathering. “They are amazing. Because of them, her condition is now stable.”
Silent auction items were sold under a tent pitched in the Tavern parking lot. Perched atop the Tavern bar, auctioneer Reed Hartman masterfully work the crowd to raise over $15,000 in the live auction. Bidding was particularly fierce for box seats to a Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees match at Fenway Park, and for 16 tickets private suite tickets to a Dolphins season game in Miami.
On Saturday, May 18, 30 foursomes hit the fairways at the beautiful Sailfish Point Golf Club. Afterwards, the winning foursome of Gary Uber, Kip Byrnes, Karen Rodgers and Frank Byers donned the prestigious Novins blue blazers and hoisted the Novins Silver Cup, on which their names will be inscribed.
Other highlights of the tournament included a swing clinic by golf legend Nick Price, a nail-biting putting contest won by philanthropist David L. Smythe, and a helicopter ball drop won by Andre Montabalo, both of whom received $1,000 in cash prizes.
This was VIM Clinic’s second golf tournament. It’s now the second-largest fundraiser for VIM Clinic, after the annual Gala Ball, which is held the last Saturday of January. Traditionally, the Gala raises at least half the clinic’s annual operating budget, said Mary Fields, executive director.
“When we organized our first golf tournament last year, I couldn’t have dreamed it would lead us to this wonderful new partnership,” Fields said. “I can’t thank Carson and Beth and all the other organizers enough. The golfers, sponsors, vendors and supporters — they’re all amazing, and we really look forward to working with them next year.”