An estimated 100 golfers teed up Monday afternoon at Briarwood Country Club in Sun City West for the annual John D. Firestone Memorial Golf Classic, with event proceeds benefiting Benevilla.

Despite the 90-plus degree temperature, a cool breeze throughout much of the afternoon provided relief to golfers. Golfers also were treated to a photo opportunity with Benevilla president and CEO Michelle Dionisio, who was dressed in an ivy cap and patterned knickerbockers, on the first tee.

Following the golf tournament, golfers enjoyed an after-golf mixer and celebration dinner. Prizes were awarded to golfers who shot hole in ones, for the longest, straightest drive, closest to the pin and the best team score. A putting contest also took place with the winner receiving a $5,000 prize.

In addition, the Sun City West Fire Department provided one of its ladder trucks to drop numbered golf balls from high atop a ladder. The individual whose ball dropped in the hole first or came closest to the pin won a three-day, two-night trip, including airfare, for two to Hawaii.

Dionisio said officials representing the annual golf classic, now in its sixth year, hoped to raise $25,000 for the nonprofit. The money goes directly toward serving clients needing transportation services for groceries and visits to the doctor, among other services. Dionisio said 90 cents of every dollar donated to Benevilla goes directly back to supporting basic health and human services.

“This is one of our signature fund-raisers,” Dionisio said.

Golfer Arky Muscato said he enjoyed attending Monday afternoon’s golf classic, knowing he was outside enjoying the weather for a few hours while also benefiting a worthy cause. Muscato, president of AARP chapter No. 1 in Youngtown, said he likes to participate in at least one charitable golf tournament every month.

“I love helping out and giving back whenever I can,” he said. “I always say a bad day on the golf course is always better than a good day in the office.”

Benevilla’s community programs are entirely supported through donations from individuals, houses of worship, service clubs, businesses and corporations. Sponsors of the John D. Firestone Memorial Classic included Arrowhead Lexus, Vahram and Dolores Cherezian, Bon Voyage Travel and the Daily News-Sun.

Zach Colick can be reached at 623-876-2522 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.