Michael Ness Play it Forward Golf Tourney coming Sept. 18

Make it “Fore for #4,” at the fourth annual Play it Forward Golf Tourney to raise funds to support Connecticut’s only regional burn center and celebrate the life of a local young man who was treated at the Bridgeport Hospital facility.

Golfers are urged to make their reservations now for the Monday, Sept. 18, Michael Ness Play it Forward Golf Tournament at Oak Hills Park in Norwalk.

Over the last three years, the fledgling tournament and banquet has reaped more than $40,000 for the Connecticut Burn Center and was featured on the organization’s annual report cover as one of the leading fundraisers for this critical facility.

The center treated several local young men, including the tournament’s name sake, when they sustained life threatening burns in a fire on Aug.18, 2013.

The fundraiser is being organized by local chef Matthew Ness in memory of his brother, Michael Ness, who at age 22, succumbed to the injuries he sustained in the house fire on Pettom Road in Norwalk.

Michael Ness, a Norwalk native and former Brien McMahon High School lacrosse team player,, wore the #4 jersey and was treated at the Connecticut Burn Center at Bridgeport Hospital in 2013.

Matthew Ness explained the need for the fundraiser.

“It’s Connecticut’s only burn center and one of only 62 verified U.S. centers,” he said. “It gives burn victims a chance to survive who might not otherwise. We’re fortunate to have it in our own backyard.

“Proceeds go wherever they are needed most, including the Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery (SOAR) program. Proceeds also help raise awareness of the burn center.”

The first tournament in 2014 was nearly sold out with 140 golfers and 225 banquet guests. This year’s auction will feature many auction and celebrity items including a private in-home catered dinner prepared by Matthew Ness and dozens of gift certificates, sporting event tickets and sports memorabilia.

Tickets are available online at: Michaelnessgolftournament.ticketleap.com. To make a donation to the Burn Center in Michael's name, email MikeNessTourney@gmail.com.