Anyone feeling patriotic should get ready to tee off the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Organization Inc. was set to host its first golf outing fund-raiser next week to generate donations for one of the nations largest Memorial Day events.
Organizers were expecting more than 100 golfers to take part in the May 10 tournament at the Douglaston Golf Course, which includes 18 holes of golf, a continental breakfast and luncheon awards.
While the golf outing was a new fund-raiser for the Little Neck-Douglaston parade group, those who coordinated the event said they hope it will become a tradition.
Ed Bailey, a Douglaston resident who has been organizing the golf outing, said the initial response to the event has been positive.
This is the first in what we hope will become an annual event, he said. Were looking forward to a nice event.
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade bills itself as the largest Memorial Day event in the nation, often competing with Chicago for bragging rights. The parade begins Monday, May 27, at 2 p.m. and runs from Jayson Avenue and Northern Boulevard in Great Neck, westbound along Northern Boulevard to the St. Anastasias parking lot in Douglaston.
Victor Mimoni, spokesman for the parade group, said holding a golf event provided a way to solicit contributions from people outside the immediate community.
We expect its going to result in a major fund-raising move for us, he said.
Mimoni said corporate sponsorship has been good so far, with BMW of Bayside at 247-21 Northern Blvd. sponsoring a hole-in-one contest in which any golfer who gets an ace during the tournament will win a new car.
The dealership also earned accolades from the parade organization, Mimoni said, for contributing $2,500 to help replace the American flags lining Northern Boulevard in Little Neck and Douglaston. The flags, traditionally hung as Memorial Day approached, have been up since shortly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The golf outing is one of several changes made by the parade organization, including a separate, community-oriented awards brunch Sunday, May 26, at the Immaculate Conception Center in Douglaston. The groups traditional fund-raiser, a dinner dance traditionally held in early May, was expected to be held later in the year, parade organizers said.
Bailey said the beneficiary of next Fridays golf outing the communitys Memorial Day parade made it an easy sell.
You just have to say the cause, and it sells itself, he said.
Fellow organizers Royce Mulholland, also a Douglaston resident, said holding a golf fund-raiser allowed more people to get involved in the parade.
I think the notion of the tournament was to be able to tap another group of folks to help raise funds for the veterans, he said. The more ways you can create for people to get involved, I think, the better.
As the parade organization gets ready for its first annual golf tournament the expanded arts and essay contest for Little Neck and Douglaston school children keeps getting better, Mimoni said.
Mimoni pointed out that the grand prizes for this years contest winners have been doubled as has the prize for the Junior Americanism Award, sponsored by the Bayside-Little Neck-Douglaston Post 1808.
The contest awards grand prize winners as well as grade level winners, all of whom are invited to march in the parade. This years contest theme is United We Stand.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-Bayside) has agreed to host each grand prize winner and one of their parents on a trip to Washington, D.C., a tour of the nations capitol and lunch in the congressional dining hall, Mimoni said.
The grand prize winning entries, Mimoni said, will also be hung in Ackermans Washington office.
In addition, a Long Island company has agreed to donate education toys for the grade level winners, Mimoni said.
For more information on the parade go online to www.littleneck.net.
Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.
©2002 Community News Group
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