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Photo: Felix Carroll

Br. Jim McCormack, MIC, kicks off the Slice of Heaven with a prayer.

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Hackers, whackers, and, yes, a few proficient golfers, too, gathered Friday, July 11, for the Marians of the Immaculate Conception's annual Slice of Heaven Charity Golf Tournament.

Achieving low scores was the third priority for the 100 golfers who participated. The first priority was to raise money for four well-deserving charities. The second priority was to have fun.

VIEW A PHOTO GALLERY OF THE DAY.

"This tournament is always a great day — and for a great cause," said David LeFave, who leads a four-person team of golf underachievers.

The tournament, held at Egremont Country Club, not far from the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy, raised $16,000. In the 12 years the Marians have sponsored the tournament, $206,000 has been raised.

"Speaking on behalf of the Marians and the staff of Eden Hill, it is our privilege to sponsor this charity golf tournament," said Fr. Kazimierz Chwalek, MIC, the Marians' director of development and evangelization. "The organizations that benefit from this event truly deserves to be recognized and supported."

This year, four charities in western Massachusetts each received a check for $4,000. The beneficiaries this year are the Catholic Youth Center, HospiceCare in the Berkshires, Community Health Programs, and Catholic Schools of Pittsfield.

"This money helps in many ways," says Marcia Savage, CEO of Community Health Programs in Great Barrington, Mass., which provides health care for children of needy families. "We are most dependent on the kindness of others. And the Marians have been so kind to us."

"We are so thankful to the Marians," said Katie O'Gara of HospiceCare. "We're really thankful to have this money." She said the money will go toward helping to pay for services such as medical care and bereavement counseling not provided by patients' health insurance or Medicare and Medicaid.

"The Marians have been wonderful to us," says Donna Quallen, principal of St. Joseph's High School in Pittsfield, Mass. "This money will help us cover tuition costs for families who are having a difficult time, financially. We don't want to turn anyone away who wants a Catholic education."

It wasn't only the Marians who helped. Nearly 100 businesses and private individuals contributed raffle prizes and financial support for the Slice of Heaven.

"Sincere thanks to anybody that contributed in any way to the event," said Ralph Tassone, the controller of the Marian Helpers Center and the chairman of the tournament. "Perhaps you made a financial contribution. Possibly you golfed in the tournament. Maybe you went out into the community and solicited raffle gifts or purchased a gift for the table yourself. Possibly you volunteered for the day, or maybe you simply offered your moral support. To all of you, the Marians, the tournament staff, and the charities are most grateful."

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Erica T. - Jul 19, 2008

Wow, I didn't know the Marians also found the time to help the community. Such a treasure they are to all of us!