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Skidmore coach leads effort to support cancer research and awareness

August 28, 2013

Skidmore coach leads effort to support cancer research and awareness


Aug. 28, 2013

A full field of golfers converged on Saratoga National Golf Course in Saratoga Springs on Monday, Aug. 26, to do their part in battling cancer.

Participants from around the country were among more than 100 golfers taking part in the sixth annual Teeing Off on Cancer Golf Classic, organized by Skidmore head women’s basketball coach Darren Bennett.

Teeeing Off group

Since its founding, the tournament has raised more than $300,000 for Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society, helping to support cancer research and raise awareness of the disease. Longtime supporters Mary and Rich Flaherty of the Flaherty Family Foundation were honorary chairs of the event.

Bennett, who helped launch the event in 2008, conceptualized the tournament and put together a team of local business and community leaders to assist in implementing it.

“This was a tremendous year for Teeing Off on Cancer,” said Bennett.  “Moving beyond year five of the tournament is significant, proving that there’s ongoing support of caring sponsors, golf attendees, guests, and the community. Their commitment to the fight against cancer is amazing and heartfelt.”

Said Rich Flaherty, “So many people of all ages and walks of life are impacted by the diagnoses of cancer. I look forward to the day when we can come to this tournament and say ‘cancer is done.’ ”

The event organizers once again encouraged supporters beyond the competing golfers to join them at Saratoga National for the post-competition reception and dinner. The event offered raffles, contests, and silent and live auctions. Auction items included sports memorabilia, event tickets, dining and lodging experiences, merchandise, and gear. 

“I want to thank our volunteers,” said Bennett. “Their generous support and their commitment of personal time were crucial to making the tournament a success.”

Event volunteers from Skidmore College included Thomas Bayer, Kelly Dempsey, Patti Heritage, Michelle Paquette, and representatives of two Skidmore athletic teams—women’s soccer coach Lacey Largeteau along with 23 of her team members, and head women’s volleyball coach Hilda Arrechea with 13 of her players. 

For more information on the tournament, visit

Photo caption—At the sixth annual Teeing Off on Cancer golf tournament (from left): Darren Bennett, Skidmore men's basketball coach Joe Burke, event co-chair Lori Jenkins of Strategic Solutions, American Cancer Society representative Katie Awad, Mary Flaherty, Rich Flaherty, and event co-chair Pat Swann of Verizon

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