(West Palm Beach, FL. – May 8, 2003) The 10th Annual Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner Dance and Golf Classic held Sunday, April 27 and Monday, April 28, 2003, raised over $254,000 for the American Cancer Society’s “Reaching Out to Cancer Kids (R.O.C.K. Camp).” The Chiera family started this tournament 10 years ago as a tribute to their father who passed away from cancer. The Honorary Chairpersons for the 2003 event were Bart Connor and Nadia Comaneci, Olympic gold medallists in Gymnastics. Bob Beamon, Gold medalist in Long Jump, Mike Eruzione, Gold Medalist and team captain from the 1980 US Hockey Team. Kathy Turner, Gold medalist in Short track speed Skating, Roberto Luongo, Goalie for the Florida Panthers. For the past ten years this event has sent thousands of kids with cancer to a very special camp designed just for them. At camp, they enjoy all the fun and activities of a regular summer camp but with round-the-clock medical care close at hand. This year’s event pushed the total dollars raised for the American Cancer Society’s ROCK camp to over $1 million.
“The children from the American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. Camp were overwhelmed not only by the Chiera hospitality and generosity at the Dinner/Golf & Tennis Classic, but also the extent of love and kindness shown by so many who came by the tables to visit! The amazing amount of money raised through this event will enable the American Cancer Society to continue to offer hope and quality of life to these outstanding children and their families,” said Judy C. More, American Cancer Society R.O.C.K. Camp Coordinator.
The event continued the next day with a golf tournament held at Ibis Golf & Country Club. With continuing support, General Manager Cliff Wilson said, “On behalf of the staff and especially the residents of Ibis Golf & Country Club, I commend R.O.C.K. Camp for their efforts to create a safe and fun environment where kids with cancer can go and just be kids.”
With the funds raised by this year’s event, the Nicholas R. Chiera Golf and Tennis Classic will extend its donations to other ROCK programs such as R.O.C.K. Family Weekend, where parents will be able to join their kids for a weekend of seminars and fun at Disney World. The Chiera family also announced that they would establish a scholarship in their father’s name for children who have battled cancer and are ready to go off to college to pursue our dreams. Our father would have been so proud knowing that his name was associated with such a wonderful cause,” said Lou Chiera tournament co-chair.
Born in Italy, Nicholas R. Chiera came to the United States when he was only 9 years old. He became an outstanding athlete lettering in four varsity sports in high school, and a football scholarship in college. Chiera graduated with a degree in Physical Education & Recreation. From creating programs for the YMCA, to becoming Commissioner of Recreation and Parks in White Plains, NY, Chiera’s greatest legacy was development of the White Plains Boys’ Baseball Program. Contrary to Little League Baseball, the program allowed any boy or girl regardless of their ability, the right opportunity to play in every game. His attention to the handicapped and elderly allowed people of all race, age and physical ability the opportunity to enjoy an unlimited number of recreational programs. Upon retirement, Mr. Chiera relocated to Florida. After battling with cancer, Chiera passed away on July 7, 1989. Lou, Vince, Nick and Rose Ann are the proud sons and daughter that will continue the family’s legacy by sending kids with this terrible disease to R.O.C.K Camp, so they too can be just like everyday kids.
Presented by KSM Electronics, the 10th Annual Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf/Tennis Classic’s Gold Corporate Sponsors include; Field & Associates, the Martha G. Moore Foundation, Burdines, Corporate Express, JM Family Enterprises, Ocean Properties, Quicken Loans, and Winner’s Award Group Inc. Other sponsors include: Ibis Golf & Country Club, Pizza Time, AutoNation, Gator Technology, Alpha Wire, Belden Amphenol, Tappan Wire & Cable, Sumitomo Electronic and Protex International.
For more information about R.O.C.K. Camp or the programs and services of the American Cancer Society, call 561-394-7751.