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Amvets hosting golf tournament to support Base Camp Serenity

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MASSENA - Gerald R. Roy Amvets Post 4 in Massena, including the Sons of Amvets and Amvets Auxiliary, have made a contribution to Base Camp Serenity, a retreat for wounded warriors located on Route 131.

But they want to do more, and will be holding a golf tournament this month to raise money for their future endeavors.

Nancy Curran, who serves as hospital chair for the Auxiliary, said they visited the home in July. It’s owned by Operational Grateful Nation, a national charity based in Conroe, Texas, that was founded by John and Resa Wing, formerly of Norfolk and Louisville and now residing in Texas. The Wings had transferred ownership of their home to the charity late last year and it was renamed Base Camp Serenity.

With a swimming pool, whirlpool spa, pontoon boat and more, the house is prepared to provide a year-round getaway to soldiers and their families, with boating in the summer and hunting in the fall and winter.

But, Ms. Curran said, they want to contribute more to the cause.

“We thought we should do something from the club. We went up and met Bob (Robert J. Giordano). We asked them what they needed. They said a motorized wheelchair,” Ms. Curran said.

Mr. Giordano is the chairman of Wounded Warriors Outdoors Adventures, which handles the local side of the charity, booking the house for soldiers and their families and providing them with tours of the St. Lawrence River. The operation of the home and the activities of Wounded Warrior Outdoor Adventures are funded by donations.

“He let us know what they were doing, what they were trying to accomplish and what they needed,” Sons of Amvets Commander Ben Gladding said.

Ms. Curran said they found a wheelchair, but it needed two batteries. They turned to Gillee’s NAPA Auto Parts in Massena, who offered them the help they were looking for.

“They donated one battery,” and allowed the Amvets to purchase the second one at a reduced rate, Ms. Curran said.

With that success under their belts, she said they wanted to do more to help the wounded warriors, so they’ll be holding a fundraising golf tournament Sept. 21 at the Twin Brooks Golf Course in Waddington.

“We ended up figuring a golf tournament was the easiest way to raise money,” Mr. Gladding said.

“It’s a total club venture. We always work together,” Ms. Curran said.

Mr. Gladding said they have put posters and flyers up around town to advertise the tournament, which is a four-man captain and crew format. The cost is $240 per team, and there will be cash prizes and giveaways during the event.

“That includes the golf, entry fee, meal and prizes. All proceeds raised, minus the cost of the tournament will be used for purchasing sports and fishing equipment,” Mr. Gladding said.

Ms. Curran and Mr. Gladding said they’re currently looking for teams, hole sponsors and those who can donate prizes.

“We’re looking for a maximum of 40 teams. We still have quite a few slots open,” Mr. Gladding said.

“We’re just looking for people to help out with this. It all stays local,” Ms. Curran said.

Interested teams can contact Mr. Gladding at 764-0686 or 250-6969. Those who would like to sponsor a hole or donate prizes can contact Ms. Curran at 769-6604.

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