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The team (from left) of Dan Rollins of Medline, Erin Anderson of SMRT Architects & Engineers, John Wilcox and Craig Piper of SMRT Architects & Engineers golfed together in Memorial Hospital’s 39th Open Golf Tournament last year. (COURTESY PHOTO)

CONWAY — With golf deemed a safe activity by Gov. Chris Sununu, Memorial Hospital plans to host its 40th Annual Golf Tournament on July 16 at the North Conway Country Club.

The event will have a different format this year, with precautions in place due to COVID-19.

 “Hosting the tournament this year will not only benefit our community members, but will enhance our enjoyment of a favorite sport in a safe, socially distanced, respectful venue. Many folks look forward to this event annually,” said Mary Vigeant, nurse practitioner and president of the medical staff at Memorial, plus co-chair of the Golf Tournament Committee.

“In these unprecedented times, we at Memorial Hospital are excited to encourage safe participation in a sport so many people in the Mount Washington Valley enjoy,” said Art Mathisen, Memorial Hospital president.

This year’s event will follow state mandates and safety protocols. Golf carts will be thoroughly disinfected beforehand, and tee times will be scheduled in advance and staggered throughout the day to allow golfers to socially distance.

The tournament will also include a modified dining experience, with staggered meal times as golfers come off the course, allowing them the opportunity to socialize at a safe distance under an outdoor tent.

The committee will present awards virtually and mail prizes out to recipients.

Golfers can expect many of the traditions from previous years to be upheld, such as the scramble format, raffles at registration and tee gifts.

Tournament proceeds will support Memorial Hospital’s new Medical Assistant Program, in partnership with White Mountains Community College.

This new program begins next year. Local students will be able to apply for a two-semester plus summer internship program, offered at the college and Memorial Hospital. Costs for tuition, along with paid classroom and on-the-job training will be provided for selected students.

The program will greatly improve community health by graduating much-needed medical assistants and offering hands-on training.

“Upon graduation, they may opt to work in a local medical office or in a hospital setting,” Vigeant said, adding: “Memorial Hospital has a long history of delivering a quality golf tournament sponsoring community health-care needs. In recent years, we were able to supply all local EMS with carbon monoxide detectors to protect both the EMS clinician as well as obtain patient values on the spot.

"We also supported our childhood health and wellness initiative, ‘Let's Go,’ in and out of our schools. Last year, we supported our mental health protocol in our Emergency Department,” said Vigeant.

The tournament’s presenting sponsor is The Coleman Companies. Other sponsorship opportunities are available for local businesses and individuals. Many sponsorship packages also include golf teams for the event. F

or those wishing to play in the tournament, golfers may join the event as individuals or in teams of four. Sponsors and golfers are encouraged to sign up early to secure a tee time.

This year’s Golf Tournament Committee includes co-chairs, Mary Vigeant, APRN and Bayard Kennett, plus members Gail Paine, Peter Waugh, Rachael Brown, Corrine Ray, Kathleen Sanderson, James Love, Melody Nester, Ed Harrigan, Becky Adams, Tim Kershner and Megan Penny.

The Memorial Hospital Open Golf Tournament was founded in 1980 by former Congressman Bill Zeliff and Jackson businessman Lee Harmon. Then and now, the goal of the tournament is to raise funds for Memorial Hospital and community health needs, while having fun at the same time.

For more information, or to sign up for golf or sponsorship, go to memorialhospitalnh.org/golf or call Megan Penny at (603) 356-5461, Ext. 2264 for more information.

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