SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After a three-year pandemic hiatus, the annual Brightside Golf Invitational came back swinging at the Ranch Golf Club on August 31.

The tournament raked in $20,000 for Brightside for Families and Children, a non-profit child welfare and family support organization for at-risk children, adolescents, and their families.

The tournament teed off with a ceremonial first shot from Sister Mary Caritas, former President of Mercy Medical Center, and outspoken advocate for Brightside. “Brightside was founded as an orphanage in 1881 to serve the community’s most vulnerable children and adolescents. Since those early days, community needs have changed significantly and Brightside has adapted its programs to continue to provide vital outpatient services to children and families,” said Sister Caritas.

After the tournamenta cook-out was held as the Wagner Cup was presented to two foursomes. John Kendzierki, Dale Croteau, Frank Capuano, and Steve Mihalek to home the prize for the low gross team score. Then, Al Miles, John Bonini, Brent Bean, and Jim Hagan were awarded for the low net team score. Sister Caritas also took home a prize of her own, celebrating her 99th birthday with cake, flowers, and well wishes.

Sister Mary Caritas, SP, celebrated her 99th birthday with golfers at the annual Brightside Invitational at the Ranch Golf Club. Here she blows out the candles on her birthday cake. (Courtesy Trinity Health of New England)

The event was organized in honor of William Wagner, President of the former Chicopee Savings Bank and respected community service leader who passed away last year. Wagner was a longtime supporter of the annual tournament, serving as co-chair of the Brightside Golf Classic for several years. The funds raised through this year’s tournament will support Brightside’s efforts to assist children, adolescents, and families in need through family outreach and stabilization, psychiatric and medication evaluation and management, special education, and therapeutic mentoring.