Hundreds of Connecticut teachers, supporters, and CEA staff have been at the Glastonbury Hills Country Club today taking part in the 25th annual Hands Across the Green Golf Tournament—the Connecticut Education Foundation’s (CEF) fundraiser to benefit public school students in need.
“The CEF golf tournament is the major fundraiser of the year that fuels CEA’s charitable arm,” says CEA Vice President and CEF President Tom Nicholas. “CEF provides public school children across the state with clothing, glasses, help with dental needs, and so much more. The fund also provides multiple scholarships for students planning careers in teaching and supports the Edward J. Boland Financial Assistance Fund, which helps teachers facing extraordinary hardships. Without the golf tournament this philanthropic work would not be possible.”
In addition to many faithful tournament regulars this year saw a number of new players register, representing renewed interest in the tournament.
“It’s wonderful to see the joy on teachers’ faces having fun and playing while raising money for such a great cause,” says Nicholas.
Ashford teacher Chris Busse says about the tournament, “It’s a great way to bond with your colleagues.”
Fellow Ashford teacher Chris Moore, who was playing with Busse says, “Our school has used money from CEF to do things like buy eyeglasses for children. It’s great to be here today supporting the fund and then see it come full circle for our students.”
“I am passionate about kids, and they need our help,” says Glastonbury teacher Natalie Lynn Smith. “I have utilized the fund for various students in the past, including the family of student who lost everything in a fire, as well as several students who could not afford graphing calculators. We’d get them when they were freshmen, and they would have their calculators for all four years and beyond, into college.” Smith, who sets up the Hands Across the Green raffle table, has been volunteering for the golf tournament for decades.
Stonington Education Association president Michael Freeman says, “Every year we come out to support the Children’s Fund. We have used the fund to supply book bags, clothes, and other necessities for kids and families in our local. It’s always there when you need it.”
“I’ve been playing in this tournament for all 25 years,” says Avon teacher John Czepiel. He says it’s an excellent way to support the charity and increase engagement among Avon teachers. “We started out in Avon with one group of players, and over the years it’s grown from four, to eight, and this year we have 12 players at the tournament.”
Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield has been the tournament’s Platinum Sponsor for the past 20 years, and Janney Capital Wealth Advisors is the tournament’s Gold Sponsor.