KB Classic: 10th Annual CTBTA Golf Tournament

Paul Morrone |

By Paul Morrone, CFP®, CPA/PFS, MSA

Registration is now live! Please CLICK HERE to register your team, participate as a sponsor or donate to a great cause.

If you’ve been a diligent follower of our newsletters or poked around on the ‘upcoming events’ tab on our website, you have undoubtedly noticed the announcement that we are sponsoring and hosting our first ever golf tournament on September 26th. In many ways, our involvement in this tournament is far more personal than professional, as the cause we are supporting, the Connecticut Brain Tumor Alliance (CTBTA), holds special meaning in the Morrone household, especially to my wife, Jill. For those that have known me a while, you’ve likely also had the pleasure of getting to know Jill as well. She lost her mother in September 2009 at age 58 after a 14-month fight against an aggressive form of brain cancer (glioblastoma brain tumor). In eerily similar circumstances, my uncle Mike also passed away in August 2009 at age 56 from the very same type of cancer, which was an incredibly challenging time for my cousins Matt and Caitlin and my aunt Peggy who survived him. In both cases, the battle was hard fought and had a lasting effect on so many people that are close to us.

A nurse by trade, Jill’s mother, Kathy, dedicated her professional life to caring for others and served for many years as a home hospice nurse supporting patients and their families during the most difficult of times (ironically, working side-by-side with my aunt Joan prior to Jill and I having ever met – talk about a small world!). Inspired by her mother’s work, Jill became a nurse herself and often credits her mother for much of her own her professional success. Her background as a healthcare provider proved essential when her mother was diagnosed with cancer in 2008. As is common for so many individuals in the medical profession, this led to Jill becoming the primary caregiver for her terminally ill mother – a herculean task in its own right – while simultaneously being forced to cope with the reality of losing a parent.

In Jill’s own words: “We know that there are countless stories similar to ours, which makes this cause so important. We immediately felt a strong connection with the CTBTA and were welcomed into a small and intimate community that has often been referred to as ‘the best club you never wanted to be a part of.’ What makes this organization so special is that they do more than raise awareness and fund research. Their drive to make a real difference in the lives of patients, families and caregivers immediately resonated with our family who did not have such resources when our mother was undergoing treatment. In 2009, we were three young children coping with the sickness and loss of our mother. The community the CTBTA has created helps to ensure that no family like ours will ever have to go through this very dark time alone again.”

The partnership between our family and this organization is fitting for so many ways. In our initial discussions with some of the active members of the CTBTA, including their executive director Chris Cusano (a long-time North Haven resident who graduated high school only a few years ahead of me – and a brain tumor survivor), it was clear that the passionate group of individuals responsible for running the organization are driven by a deep personal connection to the cause. When the CTBTA was founded in 2006, their inaugural fundraising event was a golf tournament. They successfully held 9 consecutive events each year through 2016, at which point other activities consumed the time of the largely volunteer board members. Given the longstanding tradition of having a golf tournament on the CTBTA roster, there was unanimous and enthusiastic support from the board to bring back an event that was beloved by the community at large.

The goal of any of these types of events is to raise awareness for the cause and expand the network of people connected to it. As relatively new members of this community, we hope to put our best foot forward in planning this tournament and hope to make it something that everyone can look forward to in years to come. We hope that the many people who are part of our network become inspired to join us on the course and support a cause that undoubtedly affects someone they know and love. At the very least, I can guarantee that New Haven Country Club will be in spectacular shape for the event as it is looking better than I’ve seen it at almost any point during my 20+ years as a member there. 

Please feel welcome to contact me with any questions regarding the event, to request sponsorship information or discuss prize donations. For those who cannot attend or that do not golf, we have also included a means to donate directly to the cause should you want to do so, and I encourage all of you to learn more about what the CTBTA has been doing right here in our back yard. I know many have enthusiastically already committed to joining us that day and have been incredibly generous leading up to the event. We appreciate your support and look forward to seeing you in September!

In loving memory of Kathy Berman
In loving memory of Michael Ciarcia