Mr. Connolly has been the driving force in starting the Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf Annual Banquets (through his great friendship with Arnold Palmer), recruited other great honorees, and been the principal sponsor and helped arrange the sponsorship of other companies. The Banquet is now, thanks to him, the largest golf banquet in the U.S. averaging 1,500 attendees and the largest fundraising event and visibility tool for our organization.
He serves as the Ouimet Fund’s Board Governance Chair and actively on numerous other committees. He has also established an endowed Ouimet Scholarship in his family’s name and helped The Fund in many other ways. He has been a sponsor of countless events that benefit The Fund, including the Spirit of Golf dinners, and more. He has been our greatest donor and an inspiration to others.
In 2000, the Richard F. Connolly Distinguished Service Award – our highest honor – was established to recognize his accomplishments and those of others and encourage more to also excel in their support. The Connolly Award is presented annually in his honor and is a highlight of the Banquet. Mr. Connolly was honored with a special dinner and presentation of the Ouimet Fund’s Spirit of Golf Award in 2008. The event created The Fund’s largest endowed scholarship in his name.
Congratulations, Mr. Connolly on this well-deserved honor, and thank you for all you have done for the game of golf!