Helping kids battle cancer continues to be the driving force behind this year's 15th Annual Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf & Tennis Classic scheduled for Sunday, April 27th at the Delray Beach Marriott and Monday, April 28th at Parkland Golf and Country Cub.
This year's event features another donation from charity supporter and Florida Panthers player and captain Olli Jokinen. As part of charitable match program with ADT Security Systems. ADT and Jokinen each pledged to donate $1000 for every home goal and $500 for every home assist that the Panthers Captain scores throughout the regular season. Olli and his wife Katerina donated $21,000 at last year's event through this program with Sunrise Sports & Entertainment. This season, Jokinen has so far scored 17 goals and 15 assists at home which already equals a larger donation than last year.
This year's tournament Honorees and Co-Chairs are Jokinen and his wife Katerina along with Don and Julie Weidenfeld, both Board Members and long time supporters.
Monies raised from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society's Reaching Out to Cancer Kids (R.O.C.K.) programs, which allow children battling cancer to have fun just like other kids at a week-long stay at the Boggy Creek Camp. The camp, located in Eustis, Fla. , was founded by Paul Newman and Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf. Young adults who have beaten cancer are also eligible for financial assistance to a Florida university on scholarships funded by this annual event.
"The Nicholas Chiera Golf and Tennis Tournament has been instrumental in changing the lives of many young cancer survivors throughout the state," said Judy C. More, American Cancer Society R.O.C.K. Camp Coordinator. "The Chiera support is invaluable and appreciated by all who attend R.O.C.K. Camp."
Every year more than 200 children attend this special camp. Campers ages 7-17 enjoy one full week of camp activities including swimming, archery, fishing, horseback riding, computers, canoeing and a rope course among other activities. They are referred by pediatric oncology treatment centers, their physicians and parents. There is no charge for attending the camp which is entirely funded by events such as the Nicholas R. Chiera Golf and Tennis Classic.
Other R.O.C.K. programs include The American Cancer Society's R.O.C.K. College Scholarship Program which gives young cancer survivors hope for the future and a chance to reach their full potential by relieving the financial burden of a college education. The program is open to all Florida residents who are United States citizens and received a diagnosis of cancer before the age of 21.
Families R.O.C.K. Weekend takes place in Disney World and allows parents and children devastated by cancer to meet and bond with others facing cancer and to share valuable coping skills. Parents learn more about the disease from medical professionals in a casual setting, while the child with cancer and siblings are treated to fun and educational activities.
The Chiera Golf and Tennis Classic has become the single largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society's R.O.C.K. program raising more than $1.8 million in the last 14 years.
"I know that my father would be so proud to see his name associated with such a wonderful event. said Louis Chiera, tournament co-chair. "Breaking the two million dollar mark in funds raised is a fantastic way to celebrate our 15th anniversary.
The two-day event will kick off with a fundraising dinner and auction at the Delray Beach Marriott located at 10 North Ocean Boulevard starting at 4 p.m. on April 27th. There will be a silent auction and live auction conducted by auctioneer Neil Saffer. One-of-a-kind auction items include an actual ride down the Olympic Bobsled track in Salt Lake City as well a 5 day cruise to the Western Carribean donated by Celebrity Cruises. The event will also feature sports celebrities including Olli Jokinen and Olympic gold medalists Bob Beamon and Cathy Turner†
The following morning there will be golf and tennis tournaments taking place simultaneously at Parkland Golf and Country Club located at 10045 Old Club Road
in Parkland, Florida starting at 7:30 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast with an awards luncheon following the tournaments.
"What started as a tribute to our father has now sent hundreds of children battling cancer to camp and even young adults to college," said Chiera. "Meeting the campers and college recipients at our dinner and hearing them speak is truly a life changing experience".
For more information about becoming a sponsor or participating in the Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf & Tennis Classic contact the Chiera Tournament Office at 561-775-8722.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is dedicated to eliminating cancer by saving lives, diminishing suffering and preventing cancer through research, education, advocacy and service. In Florida , there are more than 65 offices, three Hope Lodge facilities and approximately 80,000 volunteers involved with American Cancer Society programs and activities. For more information, call toll free 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org.
About the Boggy Creek Camp
Founded by Paul Newman and General Norman Schwartzkopf, the Boggy Creek Camp in Eustis, Florida is a state-of-the-art summer camp that helps children with special needs enjoy swimming, canoeing, archery, arts and crafts and other fun summer camp activities, but with round-the-clock medical care close at hand.