Matt and Grace Golf Tournament a quick sell

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"Sorry, we’re all sold out!" David Interlini told a caller who wanted to play in the Aug. 26 Race for Matt and Grace Golf Tournament. “If we have any cancellations, we’ll certainly call you.”

Interlini, who actually initiated the tourney idea to further help the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance in honor of his long-time friend Matt DiIorio, then told the obviously disappointed caller: “However, we do have honorary and business tee signs.”

Several days later, the golf hopeful called Interlini and asked “how much the honorary signs cost” and told the tourney tri-chairman that he’ll “purchase one and he’s interested in learning more about Friedreich’s Ataxia.”

Interlini then told the man “my friend has had it since he was 19 and he’s 39 now. It’s an awful and rare disorder.”

Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA) is a debilitating and degenerative neuro muscular disorder for which FARA is continuing to support vital research that will improve the quality and length of life for those diagnosed with FA and will lead to treatment that eliminate its symptoms.

As far as the golf goes, Interlini – who has worked tirelessly with fellow chairs Derrick Gelsomino and Ryan Sukaskas who are also long-time friends with DiIorio – “we’re only an upstart tournament but everyone is excited and more importantly honored that we’ve sold out the playing field in our first year.”

He also announced that the all-volunteer committee thought that 36 foursomes was a manageable figure for the first tourney.

Interlini, though, did encourage people to purchase honorary, in memoriam or even business tee signs for $40 and $60 that will further boosts the tournament’s final figure DiIorio will present to he Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.

Thus, a total of 144 golfers will play in the Aug. 26 at famed Connecticut National Golf Club where they’ll enjoy a variety of foods during the pre-tee off luncheon, on the course and post-golf awards dinner.

“We are extremely grateful to have received so much support from the community,” Interlini offered. “Matt is a huge fan of the game of golf so to be able to raise money for FARA while enjoying a day at the course with friends an family is truly a blessing. We know we won’t cure FA with one tourney, but every dollar raised brings us one step closer to the ultimate goal.”

Michael T. Crawley, who heads the all-volunteer local committee for FARA, offered: “Thanks to the continuous loyalty of our sports and dedication or our volunteers, the golf tournament is sold out. We are very fortunate and grateful for all those who continuously support our efforts to help FARA find a treatment and cure for FA. The (FA) community is incredibly strong and we are proud to host another event to help move FARA’s mission forward and improve the lives of those afflicted with FA.”

Jack DiIorio, Matt DiIorio’s father, this week issued a huge thank you and wanted it known “My wife and I are very humbled as to the great support that we have gotten from people who have signed up to play golf and support from tee sponsor donations. Thanks to Vin LaFazia, Steve Placella and John Graham who came up with the tournament date and all their hard work helping us organize our first golf tournament.”

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