Richard F. “Dick” Connolly, Jr. has been selected as the 2016 recipient of the Frank Sellman Award by the Massachusetts Golf Association. The award will be presented at the MGA’s Champions Dinner in January.
The Sellman Award recognizes Exemplary Service to the Game of Golf and has only been presented 14 times since its inception in 1988. It is the MGA’s highest award and honors Mr. Sellman who was the MGA Secretary-Treasurer in the ‘Sixties. Some of the past recipients include Roger Barry, Dick Haskell, Bill Foley and Jim Gaquin. Dick is the second Ouimet Alum following Bill Foley, who had been President of both the MGA and Ouimet Fund.
We were proud to have worked with the Sellman Committee in providing nomination information about Mr. Connolly’s tremendous service to the Ouimet Fund and the game. It is very impressive, and the Ouimet Fund again thanks Mr. Connolly for his most generous offer to match up to $100,000 in gifts by the Board and Trustees to our Centennial Campaign: Investing in Lifetimes.
Connolly-Sellman Award Nomination Information
Mr. Connolly has proudly served The Fund as a Director, Trustee and former President for over 38 years. For the past 37 years, he has been the Chairman of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament and worked closely with MGA officials on the event. The Tournament has grown greatly under his watch. He has also underwritten the production of the Richard F. Connolly, Sr. Trophy, the Ouimet Memorial’s permanent trophy that is one of the most unique in golf.
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.
Mr. Connolly has also been a major sponsor of the Bank of America Championship when it was at Nashawtuc and other golf events.
He was a member of the committee and major donor when the Golf House Building campaign was held and also recently served on the Mass. Golf Hall of Fame Committee.
Congratulations, Mr. Connolly on this well-deserved honor!