Event Raises $12,000 to Aid Transportation Services

(GOUVERNEUR, N.Y.) – The Volunteer Transportation Center Foundation’s Annual Volunteer Transportation Center St. Lawrence County Golf Tournament, which marked its seventh year, has been deemed a huge success.

The tournament – hosted at Emerald Greens Golf Course in Gouverneur July 15 – saw 27 teams compete and raised $12,000 to help the VTC provide transportation to those in need in St. Lawrence County. It was an increase in both the number of teams and the amount raised over last year.

“We are incredibly pleased with the turnout for this year’s event and to see an increase in what we’ve raised through this tournament over previous years,” said Jeremiah S. Papineau, the nonprofit organization’s Director of Communications and Foundation Director. “This is the second year we’ve held the tournament at Emerald Greens and it’s been a great partnership. We’re already looking forward to coming back next year.”

The tournament, which followed a captain and crew format, saw the team from Kyle’s Wigwam, led by Kyle Pignone, take first place in the men’s division with a 57, followed by Community Bank N.A., led by Sean Despaw, taking second with a 59. In the co-ed division, first place went to a team led by Margaret Sweredoski with a 61.Second place went to Community Health Center of the North Country, led by Genny Hall, with a 65.

This year’s tournament was underwritten by Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, Watertown Savings Bank, Stewart’s Shops, the Glenn and Carol Pearsall Adirondack Foundation, the Kinney Drugs Foundation, and Benefit Services Group. Additional sponsors included: Eagle Level – Clifton-Fine Hospital, Community Bank N.A, Community Health Center of the North Country, The ARC Jefferson-St. Lawrence, TLC Real Estate-Nick Sterling, and Staie on the Seaway/Appraisals USA-Vickie Staie; Birdie Level – Bonaparte Pharmacy and North Country Indoor Golf; Par Level – SeaComm, Emerald Greens Golf Course, J.C. Merriman Inc., St. Lawrence Health System (Canton-Potsdam Hospital), MacFadden-Dier Agency Inc., Con-Tech Building Systems, Nicholas F. Gardner Family Dental Care, Scanlon Home Care Service, Bill Rapp Chevrolet Buick of Ogdensburg, and G and R Auto Parts. Additional support was provided by Gretchen E. Tessmer, Esq. Attorney at Law.

Raffle prizes were donated by 3 Bears Gluten Free Bakery and Café; A. J. Missert Inc.; Aubuchon Hardware; Bella Brooke Vineyard; Best Western University Inn; Bonaparte Pharmacy; Bonaparte Wine & Spirits; Casablanca Restaurant; Cindy’s Cake Shop; Coakley’s Ace Hardware; Dashnaw’s Pizzeria; Emerald Greens Golf Course; Emily’s Flower Shop; Firehouse Pizzeria; Five Guys; Frederic Remington Art Museum; Fun Unlimited; G and R Auto Parts; Glow Skincare and Spa LLC; Hampton Inn; Harrisville Lanes & Lounge; Hometown Café; In-Law Brewing Company; Massena Memorial Hospital Foundation; Mrs. Beasley’s Liquor & Wine; NAPA Auto Parts; Nature’s Storehouse; North Country CrossRoads; North Country Indoor Golf; Potsdam Food Co-Op; Rex Hardware; Riverside Liquors; Robillard’s Plant City; Seaway Valley Prevention Council, Silver Leaf Diner; Small Town Supply Ace Hardware; Southville Maples; Spirits of Downtown Brasher Falls; Seaway/Appraisals USA-Vickie Staie; Sunflour Bakery & Café; SwingTime Mini Golf; T&R Wines and Liquors; The Lobster House; The Pear Tree; Tim Horton’s; TLC Real Estate-Nick Sterling; Tractor Supply Co.; Wal-Mart; White’s Flowers; and Ye Olde Liquors.

Mr. Papineau thanked the hard work of the VTC’s St. Lawrence County Advisory Committee, which consists of Ray Babowicz, Casandra Dodd, Alexa Goolden, Sommer Giordano, Rachel LaPoint, Maura Mayer, Kay Zimmer, Christine Currier, Lisa Waite, Charisse McPherson, and Peggy Durant. The date for next year’s tournament is slated for Friday, July 21, 2023, at Emerald Greens Golf Course. Details will be forthcoming as the date approaches.

ABOUT THE VOLUNTEER TRANSPORTATION CENTER

The Volunteer Transportation Center, Inc. (VTC), established in 1991, drives thousands of miles each year assisting community members in Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence Counties and beyond. Over the last 30 years, this essential non-profit organization has provided rides to health care appointments, food sources and other critical needs destinations for residents. In 2021, our volunteer drivers provided 26,711 charitable trips over 1,073,435 miles in Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence Counties. Of those miles, 470,002 helped those in Jefferson County, 151,954 in Lewis County, and 451,479 in St. Lawrence County. That equated to approximately $477,679 in mileage reimbursement for our volunteers.

The staff, Board of Directors and volunteer drivers look forward to a time when transportation to community activities and services is accessible to all North Country residents regardless of economic or specialized needs. But for now the mission drives on — striving to provide transportation to health, wellness and critical needs destinations utilizing volunteers and mobility management for anyone who has barriers to transportation.

For more information about how you can help the Volunteer Transportation Center, about its upcoming events, or to become a volunteer driver, contact the agency in Jefferson and Lewis Counties at 315-788-0422, in St. Lawrence County at 315-714-2034, in Oswego County at 315-644-6944, or Western New York at 585-250-5030. Volunteers drive their own cars, set their own hours and receive mileage reimbursement but, more importantly, make a difference in the community. To learn more, visit www.volunteertransportationcenter.org.