Posted by: David Giacalone | June 19, 2009

fun at the FCSS Golf Ball Drop 2009

golf ball drop helicopter hovers at 9th hole Our Stockade Neighbor, Family & Child Service of Schenectady, held its 4th annual Golf Ball Drop fundraising event this evening at Stadium Golf Course in Schenectady.  As Capital News 9, a corporate sponsor, reported tonight:

“A helicopter hovered over Stadium Golf Club Friday night, dropping a thousand balls on the fairway all in the name of charity. . . . It was $10 a ball and the three closest to the pin win prizes“.  [See Capital News 9, “Golf Ball Drop for charity,” June 19, 2009, which has a video clip of golf balls dropping]

The event also included a buffet dinner, the live auction of a helicopter ride and dozens of donated raffle prizes (including certificates for the Stockade Inn and other MacDonald venues).  Ric Mitchell of B95.5 was Master of Ceremonies. I very much enjoyed the food, company and positive atmosphere.

winner of the helicopter ride auction - FCSS Golf Ball Drop 2009  The helicopter ride winner can thank her boyfriend’s parents for the after-dinner treat.

[followup: Click for our coverage of the 2010 Golf Ball Drop and the 2011 Event.]

For the main event, almost one thousand numbered balls were dropped at a pin near the 9th hole — in three separate drops.   FCSS Vice President Kathy Johnson dropped the first bucket of balls from the helicopter (see photo), and departing Executive Director Maria Sunukjian dropped the final bucket:  Here’s Maria on the ground (with the pilot, Dave Kilcullin, and Board Member Jim Lamar):

GBD09 - Maria Sunukjian and James Lamar at helicopter

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. .  GBD 2009 - Maria Sunukjian gets last-minute insturctions . .

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Maria Sunukjian's Golf Ball Drop Takeoff . . . and taking off in the helicopter.

Becky Alling worked tirelessly organizing the Event, which raised $20,000.  Here she is determining which balls were closest to the pin, along with Jim Lamar and his young daughter:

. . .  Golf Ball Drop 2009 - winning balls examined

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Maria Sunukjian with Golf Ball Drop 2009 Grand Prize Winner Maria poses here with the Grand Prize winner, Anne Putnam, who had purchased the closest ball, #307, and won two tickets to any place Southwest Airlines flies, plus $2000 in traveling money:

The Title Sponsors were Pearl-Carroll and Associates and Fenimore Asset Managaement & FAM Funds. The entire FCSS staff helped make the event a success.

Below is a snapshot of eight smiling faces from the FCSS staff at last night’s event (left to right: Maria Sunukjian, Stanley Weaver, Jessica Callahan, Cassandra D., Tricia Ackerley, Jessica Bussey, JoAnne Sheldon, Jeanette Sinkora):

FCSS staff at Golf Ball Drop 2009

As Capital News 9 reported, “the real winners are the seniors, children with disabilities and people who need counseling who are all helped by the money raised.”

update (June 20, 2009): The Gazette (which was a Birdie Sponsor of the Event) has a giant photo of Maria Sunukjian in the act of dropping a bucketful of golf balls, on page B1 of today’s newspaper.  I’ll link to the photo later, if the Gazette posts it online.


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