In 2011, Ron Rys went to Akron, Ohio to put in a bid for the 51st Annual Polish National Alliance National Golf Tournament.
Since then, Rys and his committee have worked tirelessly to ensure a smooth tournament. All that hard work began to take shape Thursday as tournament participants arrived in Dunkirk to register.
The tournament kicks off today at Shorewood Country Club at 8:30 a.m. with a double shot-gun start. It concludes Saturday followed by an awards dinner at the Kosciuszko Club.
OBSERVER photo by Jeremy Izzio
Shorewood Country Club held the opening ceremonies for the 51st Annual Polish National Alliance (PNA) National Golf Tournament on Thursday at Shorewood Country Club. Pictured from left are Conrad Sobczak, PNA Director of Region C; Paul C. Odrobina, PNA Vice President; and Richard Conti, President of Shorewood Country Club.
OBSERVER?Photo by Craig Harvey
Polish?National Alliance National Golf Tournament committee members help participants register Thursday at the Kosciuszko Club. They are, from left, Peter Bienko, Butch Mackowiak, Jim Fafinski and Joe Woloszyn.
"I was told one time, 'When in charge, delegate. When confused, mumble and when confronted, lie,'" Rys joked. "I haven't had to mumble or lie. I have had a great committee. Everyone has come together and this has been the greatest committee and it makes this easy. They make you look good."
Registration took place Thursday at the Kosciuszko Club where participants were treated to a meal before heading to the Dunkirk Pier to listen to polka music.
Akron residents Jim and Kay Racco are in town to compete in the tournament and were able to get a practice round in Thursday afternoon at Shorewood Country Club.
"The course was nice," Jim Racco said. "It was hard and dry. There was not much wind. If the wind blows, it will be a lot different. It's nice to see the course dry, at least we will get some rolls."
Jim Racco has won the B Flight in the past and has taken second and third place several times in the A Flight. He joked eventually he will have to move to the Senior Flight, but not anytime soon.
"I look forward to this every year," he said. "It's been good. I have made a lot of friends and I have lost a lot of friends over the years. A good feature about this tournament is you play with three people you don't know and the next day, depending on the score, they switch them around and you play with other guys."
Rys, who has won the tournament before, is now the chairman of the tournament and enjoyed seeing old friends at the registration Thursday.
"It's fantastic to see all these old friends I have met over the last 30-35 years," he said. "Everyone is enjoying themselves and having a great time. The weather is supposed to be nice and the course is in great shape. I am really looking forward to this weekend and having a great time.
"I just hope it's a great time and I hope everyone enjoys themselves and enjoys whatever Dunkirk has to offer."