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Playing 'Fore' A Good Cause - Golf Tournament Honors Former Coach Chris Stenz



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Playing ‘Fore’ A Good Cause — Golf Tournament Honors Former Coach Chris Stenz

By Nancy K. Crevier

Friends and family of Chris Stenz, a popular local youth sports coach who died last October following a battle with leukemia, have organized the First Annual Chris Stenz Memorial Golf Tournament, for Friday, April 29, at Whitney Farms Golf Course, in Monroe.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Stenz Children Fund and The Leukemia Society. His wife, Cheryl, and three children, Charlotte, William, and Jack survive Stenz.

Stenz was directly responsible for instituting a cross-sport initiative in Newtown with the Positive Coaching alliance, according to tournament organizer Rich Williams. “His contributions to football, baseball, basketball, and lacrosse will not soon be forgotten as he emphasized character building and positive reinforcement above all,” Williams said.

“I first met Chris about seven years ago, when our daughters were both at a Chuck-E-Cheese party; we both had headaches,” Williams recalled. The men realized, though, that they had a love of sports in common and eventually coached their sons’ baseball and basketball teams together. “Chris coached my son in soccer and football, too,” Williams said.

When not coaching, golfing was a pastime that they enjoyed. “Golfing is something a lot of our friends like to do,” said Williams, adding that he decided a golf tournament would be the perfect venue to honor his late friend. “It’s a good way to get a lot of people together for a day and honor someone who deserves it.”

Tournament organizers are hoping to attract 144 golfers to the all-day event that offers lunch, a round of golf on the 18-hole golf course, and dinner. A round of golf costs $160 per person and includes all meals. For non-golfing participants, the cost of the buffet dinner is $50 for children and $75 for adults, including beverages.

Lunch will be served, beginning at 11:30, with a shot gun start to the tournament at 1 pm. The buffet dinner is expected to begin at 6 pm.

“This event is family friendly,” emphasized Williams, who expects that many of Stenz’s former players will be among those attending. Fun events for golfers and non-golfers alike include Hole In One/Win A Car; Putting Contest; Buy A Mulligan; Closest to the Pin Contest; Long Drive Contest; and 50/50 raffle.  A putting contest will take place for children.

“Everybody wanted their kid on his team,” said Williams, adding, “His absence is the only thing larger than his presence.”

Stenz gave unlimited time and energy not only to his own children, said Williams, “but all Newtown kids in his charge.”

Williams said that he is grateful for the assistance of numerous Newtown friends, the Stenz family, and Stenz’s good friend, Scott Thomas of Fairfield, for their support in planning the event.

The Chris Stenz Memorial Golf Tournament will also feature a raffle and a silent auction. Sports memorabilia, tickets to sporting events, and many other items donated by local businesses and individuals will be among the offerings.

Tournament organizers are also still accepting corporate sponsorships. Tee or Green Sponsorships are available for $75.

Contact Williams at rich.williams83@yahoo.com for sponsorship information, as well as lunch and dinner sponsorships.

To register for the First Annual Chris Stenz Memorial Golf Tournament, visit http://www.chrisstenzgolf.com/index.html. Registration deadline is April 15. Questions may be directed to chrisstenzgolf@gmail.com.

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