News | 8/24/2014 6:04:34 PM | Justin Ritzel

Rory Fitzpatrick tees off on Hole No. 1 at Ridgemont

The Rochester Americans Alumni Association held its second annual golf tournament last Monday at Ridgemont Country Club in Greece, NY, in an effort to raise money for various charities in the Rochester area.

The event brings former Amerks players and local hockey celebrities together with members of the Rochester community for a day of golf, followed by dinner and an auction of player jerseys and various other prizes. Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to charitable organizations in the Rochester area, including OASIS Adaptive Sports and the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network.

OASIS, which stands for Outdoor Adventures for Sacrifice in Service, is an organization that offers special instruction, equipment, and support to disabled military veterans in a variety of different sporting activities. Each year, the Amerks Alumni also offer special ice skating instruction for the veterans.

The tournament also provides attention to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network, which routinely works with the Amerks for the organization’s annual Donate Life Night, a cause that is championed by former Amerk and heart transplant recipient Gates Orlando. 

For those in attendance, the event was an opportunity to gather with old friends and teammates as well as raise money for a number of charitable organizations.

“It was fun. It was a great day,” said Jody Gage, who is a member of the Amerks Hall of Fame. “We had a blast out there with a great crew.”

Gage, who was part of the winning group that took home replica Calder Cup trophies, also noted the excitement of reuniting with members of the Amerks family, including some who traveled a long way to take part in the event.

“I think Paul Brydges drove in from Guelph [Ontario],” Gage said. “I played with or was involved at some point with a lot of these guys’ careers; it’s great to see old teammates come back. It was just nice to see all of the guys, and it is a great cause.”

Others who participated in the tournament included Randy Cunneyworth, Brian Duff, Rory Fitzpatrick, Jim Hofford, Steve Langdon, Brian McKinnon, Scott Metcalfe, Scott Nichol, Gates Orlando, Geoff Peters, Geordie Robertson, Ric Seiling, Don Stevens, Darren Van Oene, Jim Wiemer and John Wroblewski.

Langdon, a former Amerk who still works with the alumni to in an effort to organize various types of events, took to the lighter-side concerning the event.

“It wasn’t too bad for someone who doesn’t pride himself as being the best golfer,” Langdon said. “I really haven’t played all that much this year.”

Despite the lack of golf, Langdon still remains a cog in the Amerks’ community, as well as youth and high school hockey in the Rochester area. He spearheaded the planning efforts for the Alumni golf tournament.

“I still work with the Amerks alumni, and we still have a few games every year from that standpoint,” Langdon said. “I try to get to at least half a dozen Amerks games a year, and I certainly watch at afar with NHL games.”

Following the tournament, the Amerks Alumni also recognized the previous winners of the Thomas M. Nichols Scholarship Award, which they award each spring to the local high school senior hockey player who best display in their work-ethic, character, and determination. The two prior recipients in attendance were Jackson Charron, son of late former Amerk Craig Charron, and Matt Roeder, who overcame a number of health complications including a brain tumor, and now attends school at Finger Lakes Community College.

Thanks to the involvement of the Alumni, the second annual Amerks Alumni Association Golf Tournament proved to be another successful day in raising funds and awareness for a number of important organizations in the area.