BOCA RATON, Fla. (April 15, 2007) – Bringing laughter to children’s lives continues to be the motto at the 14th Annual Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf & Tennis Classic scheduled for Sunday, April 22 at the Delray Beach Marriott and Monday, April 23 at the IBIS Golf and Country Club.
This year’s event features a $21,000 donation from charity supporter and Florida Panther’s player Ollie Jokinen who at the beginning of the 2006-07 season, Luggage Express and Jokinen each pledged to donate $500 for every home goal and $250 for every home assist that the Panthers Captain scored throughout the regular season as part of the Charitable Match Program with Sunrise Sports & Entertainment and the Florida Panthers. All totaled, Jokinen scored 26 goals and 32 assists at home this season.
Also at the event, famous comedian and headliner, Bobby Collins, who has hosted VH-1’s Stand Up Spotlight and toured with Cher, Julio Iglesias, Dolly Parton and Tony Bennett, to name a few.
Monies raised from the event will benefit the American Cancer Society’s Reaching Out to Cancer Kids (R.O.C.K.) programs, which allow children battling cancer to have fun just like other kids at a week-long summer at the Boggy Creek Camp. The camp located in Eustis, Fla. , was founded by Paul Newman and Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf. Young adults who have beaten cancer are also eligible for financial assistance to a Florida university on scholarships funded by this annual event.
“The Nicholas Chiera Golf and Tennis Tournament has been instrumental in changing the lives of many young cancer survivors throughout the state,” said Judy C. More, American Cancer Society R.O.C.K. Camp Coordinator. “Thanks to this fabulous event, the American Cancer Society is able to give kids with cancer the opportunity to enjoy summer camp just like other kids with medical care close at hand.”
Every year more than 200 children attend this special camp. Campers ages 7-17 enjoy one full week of camp activities including swimming, archery, fishing, horseback riding, computers, canoeing and a rope course among other activities. They are referred by pediatric oncology treatment centers, their physicians and parents. There is no charge for attending the camp which is totally funded by events such as the Nicholas R. Chiera Golf and Tennis Classic.
Other R.O.C.K. programs include The American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. College Scholarship Program which gives young cancer survivors hope for the future and a chance to reach their full potential by relieving the financial burden of a college education. The program is open to all Florida residents who are United States citizens and received a diagnosis of cancer before the age of 21. Families R.O.C.K. weekend takes place in Disney World and allows parents and children devastated by cancer to meet and bond with others facing cancer and to share valuable coping skills. Parents learn more about the disease from medical professionals in a casual setting, while the child with cancer and siblings are treated to fun and educational activities.
The Chiera Golf and Tennis Classic has become the single largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. program raising more than $1.8 million in the last 13 years.
“What started as a tribute to our father who passed away from cancer in 1989 is now one of the largest fundraiser for the American Cancer Society’s R.O.C.K. programs,” said Louis Chiera, tournament co-chair. “We could not have found a more perfect fit in having his memory live on in the hearts of all of the children battling cancer who attend R.O.C.K. camp.”
Chiera said the two-day event will kick off with a fundraising dinner and auction at the Delray Beach Marriott located at
10 North Ocean Boulevard
starting at 4 p.m. on April 22. There will be a silent auction and live auction conducted by auctioneer Neil Saffer. One-of-a-kind auction items include an actual ride down the Olympic Bobsled track in Salt Lake City as well a 5 day cruise to the Western Carribean donated by Celebrity Cruises. The event will also feature sports celebrities including Olli Jokinen, Steven Weiss and Martin Gelinas of the Florida Panthers, Dolphin Linebacker Channing Crowder and Olympic gold medalists Bob Beamon and Kathy Turner.
Speaking at the event will be cancer survivor and R.O.C.K. college scholarship recipient, Megan Baldwin, who is currently attending FAU, as well as Savanah Frye, a R.O.C.K. Camper.
The following morning there will be golf and tennis tournaments taking place simultaneously at the IBIS Golf and Country Club located at
8225 Ibis Boulevard
starting with registration and a continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and an awards luncheon following the tournaments.
“Our family is so proud to see our father’s name associated with an event that helps so many deserving children,” said Chiera. “We are even more committed to making this event even more successful and surpassing the $2 million mark.”
For more information about becoming a sponsor or participating in the Nicholas R. Chiera Dinner/Auction and Golf & Tennis Classic contact the Chiera Tournament Office at 561-775-8722.