Glen Cove women's golf league raises money for breast cancer coalition

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Several dozen women gathered on the outdoor back patio of The View Grill on Sept. 30 for a fundraising brunch benefiting breast cancer research and support. The Glen Cove Women’s Golf Club 9 Hole Golf League raised more than $5,000 for the Manhasset Women’s Coalition Against Breast Cancer, an organization that supports women who develop breast cancer.

“Some of things they do include driving people to the doctor, babysitting and grocery shopping,” Corinne Kaufman, a co-chair of the event, said. “Helping the organization is very satisfying.”

According to Kaufman, the league raised $5,000 through its fundraiser two years ago, but did not hold the annual event last year due to the pandemic. She was hesitant to take it on this year, but other members helped persuade her to move forward. “I had discouraged doing it this year because businesses had been wiped out,” Kaufman said, “but we persevered, and topped what we made in 2019.”

This year, she said, gift certificates worth $4,500 were donated by a number of local businesses, and more than $5,000 worth of raffle tickets were sold to league members and their friends and families.

Sharon Cirlincione, another event co-chair, has been a member of the league for eight years, and has volunteered to help with the fundraiser since 2013. Until last month, she lived across the street from Glen Cove Golf Course, on Lattingtown Road, and stored the baskets and raffle donations in her basement.

When Cirlincione joined the league, she began what became a tradition: She gets donations from her brother, who designs big and tall menswear, and fills bags with gag gifts for those who don’t win a raffle prize. “We also throw in a small gift card,” she said. “Everybody gets something. Nobody goes home empty-handed.”

The league has 46 members who get together to play a round of golf on Thursday mornings from April through October. “The women have become my family and friends,” Cirlincione said. “Everyone gets along beautifully. There’s competition, but it’s a friendly competition. We all root for each other.”

Bernadette Dougherty, a director of the breast cancer coalition, attended the brunch, and said she was grateful for the support. “It’s a fine group of women to work with,” Dougherty said, “and this is so great, because it’s women supporting women.”

She explained that the coalition is an all-volunteer nonprofit that helps people all over Nassau County and in parts of Suffolk County. “We provide outreach services to those who have been diagnosed with breast cancer,” Dougherty said. “Those services help them navigate the whole process.”

Everyone the organization helps is assigned a care coach to work with, she said, and the coalition offers various programs, from recuperative ballet and other exercise classes to meditation and seminars. More than $1 million has been raised for the outreach services, which benefit more than 150 women each year.

The organization also raises money for research. Over the past 25 years, it has awarded nearly $5 million in research grants. “We have a whole research group that will take proposals from different hospitals,” Dougherty said,  “and they look at each of their proposals for research.”

The coalition partnered with Memorial Sloan Kettering on a small research grant focused primarily on women under age 40 with cancer, who tend to have different fertility issues and concerns, she said.

The coalition has not been able to do as much fundraising over the past year and a half as it usually does, and even had to cancel its largest fundraiser, an annual Ladies Night, planned for this month. “With the [Covid] surge, people are uncomfortable, and many attendees are immuno-compromised,” Dougherty said. “It just doesn’t make sense. But that’s why it’s so great that we have groups like this that raise money and help us through these hard times.”

For more information on the coalition or to donate, go to manhassetbreastcancer.org.

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