2018 Ryder Cup Captain Jim Furyk was the guest speaker and honored with the 21st Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf at the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund’s 67th Annual Banquet. The Banquet, which has become the largest annual golf dinner in America, was held on Tuesday, March 27 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center. The Connolly Group – Morgan Stanley was again the Presenting Sponsor.
“We were thrilled to have Jim Furyk as our 2018 honoree and also to have David Marr III again so ably serve as our Master of Ceremonies. Jim has a tremendous record and has been one of the top players on the PGA TOUR for the past 24 years. He’s played on nine Ryder Cup teams including here in Boston in 1999, and is greatly respected for his charitable work. We are all looking forward to him leading the US Team in at the Ryder Cup Matches in Paris,” said Jim Blue, Ouimet Fund President.
The Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf became part of the Ouimet Annual Banquet when the late Arnold Palmer was honored in 1997. Subsequent honorees have been Gene Sarazen, Ben Crenshaw, Curtis Strange, Ken Venturi & Eddie Lowery, Former President George H.W. Bush, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Nancy Lopez, Greg Norman, Peter Jacobsen, Jack & Barbara Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Annika Sorenstam, Mark O’Meara, Mr. Ouimet himself in 2013, the Centennial of his historic U.S. Open victory, Brad Faxon, Tom Lehman, Nick Price and now Mr. Furyk.
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund announced it plans to increase annual scholarships again beyond this year’s record 2 Million. Through the 2017-2018 Academic Year, The Fund has awarded nearly $34 Million to 5,700 scholars. “This will be the fifth straight year we have been able to increase scholarships, and we are very proud of that. It helps us as we strive to meet the growing needs we have with a large increase in applications,” said Mr. Blue. Josh Belinsky, who caddied for 12 years at Blue Hill Country Club and is graduating from Northeastern University, was Student Speaker. Josh is from Westwood, MA. He majored in Business and has been involved in several entrepreneurial pursuits.
Dennis J. Kelly, a Ouimet alumnus and the Fund’s Secretary-Counsel, was honored with the Richard F. Connolly Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Kelly is a Senior Partner with the Boston law firm Burns & Levinson. Veteran golf broadcaster David Marr III served as Master of Ceremonies for the third straight time and conducted a very entertaining interview of Mr. Furyk.
The Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund was founded in 1949. Since its founding it has awarded nearly $34 million in need-based scholarship assistance to 5,700 students. Ouimet Scholars have served at least two years as caddies or in pro shop or course superintendent operations in Massachusetts, and many have gone on to outstanding positions of leadership in business and professional careers. The Ouimet Fund is a 501 (c) (3) organization and is considered, “The Golf Charity of Massachusetts™.”