Bill Bamonto, center, attends the event with his four grandsons, left to right: Ethan, Kobe, Grant and Cole.

On Friday morning, the 12th Annual Dunkirk-Fredonia-Cardinal Mindszenty High School Golf Tournament kicked off with more than 140 participants. But this year’s event comes with a few changes.

For one thing, Shorewood Country Club pro emeritus Jack Shubert died in May, and tournament organizer Bill Bamonto said everyone is golfing in his honor. Schubert’s daughter, Erin Shubert Russell, served as an honorary guest starter for the event, and hole six featured a tribute to Shubert.

“On hole number 6 there will be a big sign over there that says ‘Take a cold on Jack'” Bamonto said. “Jack was so famous for buying drinks for everyone. So we’ll be serving Arnold Palmers non-alcoholic, which was one of his favorite drinks, at this hole.

But this year’s event also marks the end of Bamonto’s time as the event’s chairman. Although he is still heavily involved in the future, Bamonto hopes someone will step up to take his place so the tournament can continue. He added that the rest of the board will still be on board, he just needs someone to replace him. Although he has a few people in mind, nothing is set in stone yet.

“I hope someone will take over and help us” Bamonto said.

The participants in Friday’s Dunkirk-Fredonia-Cardninal Mindszenty tournament are pictured. Photo by Anthony Dolce

As this is his last time in charge, Bamonto has decided to make it a family celebration. For the first time, he has his three daughters and all his grandchildren present. His four grandsons played golf as a team on Friday, making them the first-ever all-grandsons team to compete in the tournament.

Bamonto started this event with eight other guys in 2009 as a way to see their friends once a year, and it has grown from 30 people to over 140 they had on Friday, as the future of the event is somewhat at risk, there is no denying the success of the event or the money that has been raised for various charities over the years, including the Dunkirk-Fredonia Little League and Girls Softball programs and the Summer Camp Better Than Others. In the 10 years they have raised money, including this year, a total of $65,000 has been raised for these various groups.

After the tournament, there is always a cocktail party for people to attend, including those who did not participate in the golf tournament, followed by an awards banquet where prizes are awarded. The mayor of Dunkirk, Willie Rosas, was honorary holder, alongside Erin Shubert Russell.

Today’s breaking news and more to your inbox