Golf and giving go hand in hand and have provided The Kennedy Center with much-needed funding.

One hundred golfers swung their clubs for charity during its 27th annual Charity Golf Classic at Shorehaven Golf Club in Norwalk. It’s one of the only tournaments in the state where junior golfers play with an adult foursome.

Over $36,000 was raised for underfunded programs provided by The Kennedy Center, which help people with disabilities lead a more productive life.

Since its inception, the tournament has contributed an impressive $714,000 for the benefit of children and adults with disabilities.

Twenty-five junior golfers from 17 communities throughout the state were awarded scholarships based upon academic achievement, school and community leadership, and golf proficiency.  

Junior golfers aged 15 through 18 played for free in this scramble-format, 18-hole classic.

In total, nearly 550 junior golfers from Connecticut have received more than $260,000 in scholarship money.

The Junior Scholarship and Title Sponsors of the Classic were Diane Thompson of Sandy Hook, and Julie and Doug Conley of Olney, Maryland, in memory of Fred and Fran Ahlbin.

Other major sponsors recognized for their generosity included: Merit Insurance in Shelton as the Presenting Sponsor; R.D. Scinto, Inc. in Shelton, The Hartford Financial Services Group, and the Gavey Family of Fairfield as the Championship Sponsors; All American Waste, Donahue & Brown, LLC in Fairfield, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, and Bridgeport Sound Tigers, all Invitational Sponsors; and People’s United Bank as the Golf Ball Sponsor.

Co-chairs of the golf classic were Trumbull residents Stephen Donahue and Sean Carroll. They were assisted by eight members of the golf committee and the Probus Club, who regularly staff the event with volunteers.

“The funds raised at this year’s golf classic give The Kennedy Center the ability to make a greater impact in the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said Richard E. Sebastian, Jr., President and CEO of The Kennedy Center.

“The community’s ongoing generosity helps us provide services where they are most needed the most. In doing so, we further our work of empowerment by creating opportunities that encourage growth and interdependence.”

The Kennedy Center, founded in 1951, is an internationally accredited, non-profit, community-based rehabilitation organization that currently serves over 2,000 individuals annually.

The agency actively responds to the needs of the community by offering innovative, comprehensive service options to persons with disabilities and special needs, from birth to senior years.

The Kennedy Center operates 31 community experience programs, 17 group homes, an industries program composed of six businesses, supported and competitive employment and job placement services, a family support and respite service, travel training, and a variety of children’s programs. Visit thekennedycenterinc.org for more information.