MS Society benefits from annual Pat Thrasher Memorial Golf Tournament

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Family and friends of Pat Thrasher not only got together Friday to remember him at a golf tournament, they also raised thousands of dollars for the Windsor-Essex County chapter of the MS Society.

Thrasher golfThrasher, who was afflicted with the disease, was chair of the society when Jackie Putterman joined the organization and she still carries fond memories of him.

Putterman, who is the local MS Society fundraising co-ordinator, couldn’t recall a day where the weather was bad in the approximately dozen years the tournament was going on.

“We have had great weather. We are so lucky,” said Putterman. “Pat has been looking down on us every year. We’ve had great weather since we started.”

Putterman has grown close with the entire Thrasher family.

“The Thrasher family feels like family to me after all these years,” she said.

The Windsor-Essex chapter of the MS Society has progressed over the years, she added, attributing the progress to Pat Thrasher.

“We’ve come so far,” said Putterman. “Pat is still guiding us. He’s with us every day.”

This year’s tournament was at Sutton Creek Golf Club in McGregor with Putterman estimating the tournament has raised over $150,000 since it began.

“The money stays here locally,” said Putterman. “It goes to mobility equipment for our clients.”

Such mobility items would include wheelchairs, walkers, bathroom aids and other such devices. Putterman added other funds will be devoted to a special assistance program that helps people afflicted with multiple sclerosis take care of lawn maintenance and housekeeping.

Working with tournament organizer and Pat and wife Jayne’s eldest son Wes has been “fabulous,” Putterman added.

Wes Thrasher said it was a “terrific day” and while a final fundraising total was not readily available, he was confident it raised at least $12-13,000.

“It’s terrific to get out here and raise money for something my dad had such a passion for and we have such a passion for,” said Wes, who was joined by mother Jayne, sisters Becky and Lindsay and brother Brady and 124 other golfers at last Friday’s tournament.

Wes said the part that was particularly special was the fact people keep coming back year-after-year showing their support for Pat and the fight against multiple sclerosis.

“It’s all about the support,” he said.

Wes added his father’s torch in the battle against MS was picked up by the entire family and is a disease they want to eradicate.

“It’s something we believe in,” he said.

Seeing people become debilitated from MS is “heartbreaking,” Wes added.

“It’s something we want to see an end to and we have a great passion for it,” he stated.

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