WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – On Monday, 270 golfers gathered at East Mountain Country Club in Westfield, as they have almost every year for nearly 20 years, to raise money for causes dear to John DiNapoli’s heart: Holyoke youth.
“We’ve raised over $500,000,” Holyoke Police Sergeant and John’s son, Andy DiNapoli, told 22News. “And every single penny has gone back into some organization, children’s organization within the city of Holyoke. Scholarships we’ve donated to the Holyoke football league.
John’s commitment to young people is clearly etched in his memorial statue at Heritage State Park across from Holyoke Police Headquarters.
“I can still remember when we were deciding what the statue should look like and what it should represent and it was just a no-brainer,” his daughter, Jobeth DiNapoli-Woodward, explained. “My dad loved kids. I would go and see him working in the community policing station and would be surrounded by kids.”
John’s life ended in late December 1999, when a suspect fired several rounds into his cruiser as he arrived to help his fellow police officers who were in pursuit.
His killer is serving a sentence of life with no chance of parole.
John’s memory and legacy lives on, not just among family and Holyoke’s men and women in blue, but among the many Holyoke youths nurtured by programs funded by the John DiNapoli Memorial Golf Tournament.