Changing of guard: Future uncertain for popular golf tourney

Bill Bamonto, center, participates in the event with his four grandsons, from left: Ethan, Kobe, Grant and Cole.

On Friday morning, the 12th annual Dunkirk-Fredonia-Cardinal Mindszenty High School golf tournament teed off with more than 140 people participating. But this year’s event is coming with a few changes.

For one, Shorewood Country Club’s pro emeritus Jack Shubert died in May, and tournament organizer Bill Bamonto said that everyone was golfing in his honor. Schubert’s daughter, Erin Shubert Russell, served as the honorary guest starter for the event, and hole six featured a tribute to Shubert.

“On hole number 6, there will be a big sign out there that’s going to say ‘Have a cold one on Jack,’ “ Bamonto said. “Jack was so famous for buying drinks for everyone.

So, we’ll be serving non-alcoholic Arnold Palmers, which was one of his favorite drinks, at that hole.”

But this year’s event also marks the end of Bamonto’s time as chairman of the event. While he will still be heavily involved in the future, Bamonto is hoping someone will step up to the plate to take his place so that the tournament can continue on. He added that the rest of the board of directors will still be on board, he just needs someone to replace him. Although he has a few people in mind, nothing is set in stone yet.

OBSERVER Photos by Anthony Dolce Participants in Friday’s Dunkirk-Fredonia-Cardinal Mindszenty tournament are pictured.

“I’m hoping someone will step up to the plate and help out,” said Bamonto.

As it is his last time in charge, Bamonto decided to make it a family occasion. For the first time, he has all three of his daughters and all of his grandchildren in attendance. His four grandsons golfed as a team on Friday, making them the first ever all-grandson team to participate in the tournament.

Bamonto started this event with eight other guys in 2009 as a way to see their friends once a year, and it has grown from getting 30 people to the over 140 they had on Friday, While the future of the event hangs somewhat in jeopardy, there’s no denying the success of the event or the money that has been raised for various charities over the years, including the Dunkirk-Fredonia Little League and Girls Softball programs and the Summer Camp Better Than Others. In the 10 years they’ve collected money, including this year, a total of $65,000 has been raised for those various groups.

Following the tournament, there is always a cocktail hour for people to participate in, including those who didn’t participate in the golf tournament, followed by an awards banquet where the prizes are given out. Dunkirk Mayor Willie Rosas served as the honorary starter, alongside Erin Shubert Russell.


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