By Cathy Harasta
With a new venue and record-setting participation, a sold-out field of 212 golfers helped raise an estimated $544,000 in the third annual Bishop Farrell Invitational on Sept. 16, tournament director Kris Kramer said.
All proceeds from the event, held for the first time at the TPC-Four Seasons Resort and Club and Cottonwood Valley courses, provide tuition assistance for students to attend Catholic schools in the Diocese of Dallas.
The golfers said that they thoroughly enjoyed the new venue. The Dallas Athletic Club was home to the Bishop Farrell Invitational for its first two years.
Bishop Kevin J. Farrell, the event’s host and founder, praised tournament co-chairs Vicky and Doug Lattner, and also thanked their predecessors, 2012 co-chairs Jennifer and John Gates and 2011 co-chairs Jane and Don Hanratty.
“I’m grateful to the people who have done so much to make it so successful,” Bishop Farrell said. “It’s great to see so much support. I thank all of the Catholic community and the non-Catholic community for the support. While we’re out there enjoying ourselves, the great thing is that these children are getting a first-class education.”
Bishop Farrell said that the tournament’s growth and popularity far exceeded his initial expectations.
In just its second year, the 2012 Bishop Farrell Invitational, was ranked North Texas’ fourth-largest charity golf tournament by the Dallas Business Journal. Kramer said that donations continue to arrive for the event’s latest edition.
Proceeds from the tournament’s first two years assisted 550 students with tuition.
“I am just elated that there is so much support for our Catholic schools and people are so interested in providing the opportunity for children from all economic strata,” said Sister Gloria Cain, SSND, the superintendent of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Dallas. “I’m so excited about this.”
Doug Lattner said that he was pleased to see many new participants.
“I continue to be proud of the Catholic community and its heart and willingness to go to its pocketbook to put children into good schools,” Doug Lattner said. “I thought the new venue was fantastic.”
The winning team on the TPC course consisted of Ben Livesay, Larry Lyons, James Clay and Josh Gleaton.
The team of Dan Basso, Dave Basso,; Mark Hall and Todd Hunter won on the Cottonwood Valley course.
Legendary country musician Charley Pride said he loved playing the TPC course.
“I enjoyed it,” said Pride, a former professional baseball player. “We finished 3-over par. I didn’t realize the course was so big.”
Golfer Bob Galecke called the venue “spectacular.”
“But the real focus here is that the proceeds are for needy kids of the diocese,” he said. “The net proceeds go to the bottom line.”
A contingent of students from schools in the Diocese of Dallas attended part of the tournament and the luncheon.
“It’s good to be here,” said Gala Gutierrez, a fifth-grader at Good Shepherd Catholic School in Garland. “It’s helpful for all the Catholic schools.”
Vicky Lattner said that she was grateful to the event’s volunteers.
“The volunteers were great,” she said. “It was a great day all around.”
Kramer said that the 96 sponsors set a record.
A team from St. Ann Catholic Church in Coppell won the tiebreaker after a four-way tie at 62 in the inaugural Farrell Cup Challenge, a competition among teams from parishes in the diocese. St. Ann parishioners Kervyn Hays, Don Jett, Deacon Peter Markwald and Dan Massaviol won the right for their parish to harbor and display the Farrell Cup trophy until the 2014 challenge.