Women’s Club Of Chatham Set For Golf Fundraiser

By: Brad Joyal

Topics: Chatham , Golf

The Women’s Club of Chatham is set to host its first-ever golf tournament this week. PIXABAY PHOTO

CHATHAM – Leslie Gillis knew she needed a hobby to supplement the time she spent teaching eighth grade math at Walsh Middle School in Framingham. When her own children became college-aged, Gillis turned to golf.

“I don’t consider myself athletic, but I don’t feel you have to be athletic to play golf if you enjoy people and being outside,” said Gillis, a 75-year-old retired Chatham resident who serves as the president of The Women’s Club of Chatham.

After years of playing with a group of women she met at Cranberry Valley Golf Course, Gillis is prepared to combine two of her biggest passions — golf and the women’s club — at the inaugural Women’s Club of Chatham Country Western Golf Tournament scheduled for Thursday, May 26, at Chatham Seaside Links.

It seemed like a natural fundraiser for Gillis to organize given her elaborate golf background, which has included trips to play in Ireland, Portugal, Myrtle Beach and Pebble Beach.

“They had never done a golf tournament before, so I said, ‘Well, I’ve run a couple tournaments, let’s give this a shot,’” Gillis said. “We decided to do it at Seaside not knowing what the response would be like, and [general manager Jason Laramee] has been wonderful to work with.”

A group of approximately 70 people, both men and women, will take part in the tournament, which will feature nine holes of action followed by a dinner and auction at Red River BBQ in Harwich Port.

Gillis said the organization decided to cap the tournament at 80 participants because that’s how many people would be able to fit at the dinner.

“It was capped at 80 because the tricky part was finding a place to have the meal,” she said. “When we started talking about this in February, the [COVID] numbers weren’t great and the restaurants weren’t too keen, so the two women that were in charge of finding a place got us in at Red River Barbecue in Harwich. Because he has weddings there, they have a tent that can hold 80.”

Although it’s tough to pinpoint the fundraising total so far — Gillis expects a big portion of the total will be raised at the auction afterwards — each participant paid $100 to register to play. Gillis also said 20 sponsors each paid $100 for signs to be displayed on the course.

The auction will feature a wide range of items that showcase the many talents of the women’s club’s 242 members.

“There are some beautiful paintings,” Gillis said. “One group is auctioning a dinner for six people at their home.”

Each golfer will also receive a gift bag that includes special homemade golf club head covers that were knit by Gillis and other members.

“I sent out an email to a couple of girls in the club who aren’t golfers but are knitters, and we have enough for the next tournament,” Gillis said. “I’ve never been to the tournament where that was in the gift bag, so that’ll be fun.”

Gillis noted that the golf tournament is a good encapsulation of what the women’s club is all about: trying new things and having fun.

“The whole idea is to keep learning,” she said. “Just because you retired doesn’t mean you stop.”

The club president is hopeful the golf tournament will become an annual tradition, and some of the members might even make an interest group that might meet to play more frequently.

“I’m thinking this might make for a good interest group, a golfing group, that can play together,” she said.

Email Brad Joyal at brad@capecodchronicle.com. Twitter: @BradJoyal