Published in the July 6, 2018 edition

MELROSE — Celebrating seventeen years of special needs golfing at Mount Hood, the concept of parent/athlete partnering is unique throughout the Special Olympic events for this region.

With concept development beginning under former Mayor Dick Lyons and enthusiastically promoted under the term of Mayor Rob Dolan, the concept of allowing parents, siblings and athletes to enjoy the splendor of Melrose’s golfing jewel, and learn the ins and outs of golfing while having fun are unmatched by the wonderful gratitude both athletes, volunteers and community members have expressed over these last seventeen years.

Advanced promotion through Mayor Dolan’s Parks and Recreation Director Joan Bell, together with the always accommodating golf management team of the Frei brothers through their golf pro on site, Mike Farrell, makes for a well-oiled system guaranteeing twice weekly golf sessions for up to sixty participants.

THE MELROSE Special Athlete Golf Program is celebrating its 17th year of golfing at Mount Hood. (Courtesy Photo)

The cost of hosting this program in the past have been raised by volunteers plunging into ice cold 33-degree sea water either at venues in Hull or Revere Beach. Approximately seventy thousand dollars have been raised through this effort going into the Special Olympics of Massachusetts general funding. Known as The CSI Team of Melrose, many local fun-loving people have affectionately been christened as cold, sick individuals over these many years and proudly sport the CSI sweatshirts as a badge of honor.

This program greatly relies on the volunteers that step forward to teach and oversee the sessions. Mr. Pat Martone, Mr. Bob Reczek and Mr. Aldo Cappuccio, have diligently and tirelessly donated their time and good will each week to ensure this program continues to be the great success and fun time that makes this so unique. Their unselfish donation of their time and effort cannot be appreciated enough over these years.

A shout-out to parent Al Nardone and his wife for stepping up and assuming the new position of athlete/parent coordinators and all the paper work that is generated.

Sponsors for our now local program are needed to help defray the costs regarding awards, program golfing shirts and incidental costs that arise each year. If you or your organization would like to help, please contact Melrose Special Athlete Director John Finlay at 617-417-0683 for further information. Want to volunteer? Want to coach? Want to play? Special Athletes are what this program is all about. Contact us!