Ouimet Alumnus Peter Dalton ‘69 had been the Ouimet Chair at Tedesco Country Club and supported The Fund in many ways including supplying much of the ProQuip clothing and merchandise used during the Ouimet Centennial. He was a great advocate of caddies, and encouraged numerous young people to apply for Ouimet Scholarships. Mr. Dalton grew up in Beverly, worked at Myopia Hunt Club as a caddie and then went on to Boston College where he played on the golf team with lifelong friend and Ouimet Director Tom Riordan. Peter worked in golf sales for most of his career, including for 21 years with the Ben Hogan Company. He always felt a highlight was having played golf with Mr. Hogan.
The Fund joined the world of golf in mourning the passing of Arnold Palmer. Mr. Palmer was involved with The Fund for nearly 20 years, thanks to the efforts of Ouimet Trustee and Alumnus Richard F. “Dick” Connolly, Jr. who worked as Mr. Palmer’s financial advisor and was a very close personal friend. The “new era” of Ouimet Fund Banquets began in 1997 when Arnold accepted Mr. Connolly’s invitation to become the Banquet’s guest speaker and first recipient of the Francis Ouimet Award for Lifelong Contributions to Golf. Mr. Palmer’s appearance helped bring the dinner and the Ouimet Fund to a new level as 1,400 guests were on hand. Over the next few years, the Ouimet Banquet secured its position as the biggest golf dinner in the U.S., and Mr. Palmer frequently helped recruit subsequent honorees of the evenings.
In 2000, Mr. Palmer stepped into a new role with Ouimet. He succeeded Gene Sarazen, who died in 1999, as Honorary Chair of the Francis Ouimet Memorial Tournament, The Fund’s premier invitational event. Mr. Sarazen, who had been a close friend of Francis Ouimet, had been Honorary Chair since the inception of the Tournament in 1968. In 2011, Mr. Palmer agreed to be the Honorary Chair of the Ouimet Centennial. With Arnold on board, The Fund was able to ask the other prior Banquet honorees and some special friends to be Centennial Ambassadors. The cycle was completed when Mr. Palmer agreed to be presented with the 2013 Richard F. Connolly, Jr. Distinguished Service Award at The Fund’s Centennial Gala. There were 2,100 guests on hand – the largest ever for a golf banquet in the United States. He was joined on stage by Golf Channel’s Rich Lerner, the Master of Ceremonies, Peter Jacobsen and Mark Frost, the author of The Greatest Game Ever Played, and Bill Paxton, the director of the movie of the same name.
Robert P. (Bob) Reardon was the long-time Executive Director of the New England Senior Golfer’s Association (NESGA) who was a retired attorney and a member of Woodland Golf Club. He was always very helpful with arrangements with The Fund’s Jack Casey New England Senior Golfer’s Association Scholarship and really loved the game. Mr. Reardon was one of the only people who had caddied for both Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery, and was also with Gene Sarazen when The Squire had his second double eagle – in a Ouimet event at Charles River Country Club.
Past Ouimet President Frederick (Fred) G.P. Thorne (1971-1972) and Trustee was a long-time resident of Manchester, MA, where he was a member and President of the Essex County Club. He was also a former member of the MGA Executive Committee and the United States Senior Golf Association. He was involved in numerous other organizations and health related programs and was also deeply committed to his alma mater, Bowdoin College, and had been Chair of its Board of Trustees. Mr. Thorne’s Ouimet presidency was an important part of The Fund’s history as it included the decision to move from downtown Boston to securing its own building and museum in Weston. He was a frequent donor to the Ouimet Fund and was a great admirer of Francis Ouimet.