St. Patrick’s Day in October at the Prince Restaurant began in 1982 and continued for 12 years.
Arthur and Rosemarie Castraberti were the owners of the Prince Restaurant in Saugus, MA. While they were not impacted by NF, they wanted to be involved in a charity where “they could really make a difference,” and make a difference they did! Every year in October they hosted a pizza party for up to 300 people with all proceeds benefiting NF. Volunteers from NF would wait on tables and John Corcoran and his Irish singers provided music and hilarity. The Castrabertis stayed involved in the NF effort until they both passed away, but because of them the NF community grew exponentially, and their generosity made a huge impact.
The first golf tournament at the International Golf Course was in 1985. This enduring event raised over $3 million over 3 decades.
Started by co-chairs Paul Epstein and Jeff Twiss, the tournament was held at the International for 34 years until the pandemic struck and the International closed. Alan and Harriet Lewis, owners of Grand Circle Corporation, have been the Presenting Sponsors since the first year. The first Honorary Chairperson was K.C. Jones of the Boston Celtics. When K.C. moved out of the area, Boston Celtics coach and player Tommy Heinsohn stepped in and was Honorary Chair for 13 years. Red Sox great Dwight Evans and his wife Susan were at the helm for the next 10 years. In 2018 Rob Ninkovich, former player for the New England Patriots, was welcomed as the new Honorary Chairperson. Following the closing of the International, the tournament was moved to Worcester Country Club, and due to a dedicated committee and loyal sponsors, the tournament continues to be one of NF Northeast’s premier events.
The Fall Golf Classic was started by two large NF families in 1998 and continues today.
The Mahoneys and Flynns were two large clans who had never met before NF impacted both of their families. Upon meeting each other, they agreed that they wanted to increase research and education about NF, and since they shared a love of golf, they decided to organize a tournament. The first tournament was held at Hickory Hill Golf Club in Dracut, and for many years was called the Hickory Hill Golf Tournament for NF. The event is still going strong and in recent years has been held at Four Oaks Golf Course in Dracut; the name has been changed to the NF Fall Golf Classic. The Callahan family has been a loyal sponsor, and over the years additional large families have become involved, with each of them including their extended circle of friends. A warm and loving bond among the attendees has created a strong support network.
Table for Ten was an elegant dining event held at Boston’s finest restaurants that began in 1999 and lasted for 21 years.
Table for Ten was the concept of Nancy and Ross MacKinnon. Nancy, a graduate of Cambridge School of Culinary Arts, coordinated the fantastic dessert party and auction that followed fine dining at over 25 of Boston’s finest restaurants. Each restaurant donated a table for ten and supporters purchased a full table or individual seats. Every year a restaurant owner or chef would lend their name to the event, and Joe Milano, owner of the world-famous Union Oyster House in Boston, helped launch Table for Ten as its first Honorary Chairperson. George and Christine Montilio generously provided elegant desserts for the after-dinner party. Sadly, the pandemic greatly impacted the Boston restaurant community and brought an end to this wonderful event.
Step2Cure NF Walks began in 2006
The original Steps2Cure NF Walk and Run was held at Horn Pond in Woburn in 2006. After 4 years, it was relocated to Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield, MA, where it is still going strong today. Lori Ryan founded the Steps2Cure NF Walk/Run Program and as she had hoped, other patients and families around the Northeast have followed the model and organized walks and runs in their own local areas. Now there are numerous walks and runs that are great opportunities for the NF community to come together for comradery and support as well as raise funds to support the mission of NFNE, especially the NF Scholarship program.
NF Bike Ride founded in 2009 – now Coast to the Cure for NF
Miguel Lessing and his son Andres loved riding bicycles and organized the first Friends Ride for NF in 2009. The ride was from Woods Hole to Provincetown on Cape Cod and quickly built up a strong following of riders and supporters. Ideally, they wanted a ride that would start and end at the same location and offer courses of different distances for riders. A committee was formed under the leadership of Kate Duff and Dan McKie, and the ride was relocated to Gloucester, where riders start and finish at Stage Fort Park. Kevin McKelvey and Ben Buttrick are now the Co-chairs of Coast to the Cure for NF and are joined by many volunteers who make the day fulfilling, safe and fun for all.