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Golfers shoot a round to benefit Wilmington Catholic Youth Ministry

Wilmington Bishop Francis Malooly offers tips to golfers as they head out to their first hole.
Wilmington Bishop Francis Malooly offers tips to golfers as they head out to their first hole.
Mike Lang

NEWARK — As 120 golfers sat in their carts waiting to hit the links July 10 at Cavaliers Country Club, waiting to begin the annual benefit tournament for Catholic Youth Ministry, Bishop Malooly thanked them for supporting the young people of the diocese.

“The support for youth ministry is outstanding,” he said. “It’s really very important for our young people.”

Then the bishop gave a blessing that included the following: “Help them to add up correctly.”

With that, the 22nd edition of the tournament was under way, sporting a mix of young and old, with a few women sprinkled among their male counterparts. The weather was perfect, and the storm expected late in the afternoon never materialized.

Bishop Malooly declined an invitation to hit the ceremonial first tee shot, saying CYM did not have enough insurance to guard against any damage he might do.

The golf tournament is the only fundraiser CYM holds each year, said Patrick Donovan, the director of the office. It helps support many programs, including Pitcher and Basin, a leadership initiative, adult training, athletics and more.

“It allows us to bring in great speakers and presenters for the cross pilgrimage. We try to keep the cost down for the programs and services we provide so that we can keep the level of participation up,” he said.

This year, CYM reached a $1 million raised over the life of the tournament.

“That directly impacts the programs and services that our office is able to put together,” Donovan said.

Golfers enjoyed a full day at Cavaliers, beginning with a pre-round lunch and gift bag. After 18 holes, they returned to the clubhouse for dinner and live and silent auctions.

The list of items up for bid was impressive. The live auction included four tickets to see the Philadelphia Eagles against the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. For the silent auction, there were baskets of cheer, signed sports memorabilia, a golf GPS unit, a private children’s swim party, rounds of golf, a health club membership and much more.

Joe McNesby, who runs the CYM athletics program, expressed gratitude at the generosity of sponsors, volunteers, Cavaliers and the people who play.

“Every year we have a full house, and most years we have a waiting list. We’re very blessed and fortunate,” he said.

The players are a mix of longtime veterans and younger folks, “which is what we need. We’re getting new blood. New people are coming along to help us as well.”

One of the veterans is Al Moran, a St. Mary Magdalen parishioner who has been to each of the 22 tournaments so far and was its first commissioner. Moran, 85, said he would play a few holes and that the tournament is for a good cause.

“The CYM is so important, everything that happens with the CYM,” he said.