A burgeoning event in its second edition this summer, the Reunion Golf Classic is already looking ahead to its third time around in 2016.

New Milford High School graduates from the 1960s through the 1990s numbering nearly 80 were on hand July 25 to join in the fun at Candlewood Valley Country Club in New Milford.

"The event is an opportunity for people of all ages who attended New Milford High School to get together," said Byrne, in his introduction to the event last year, “and spend a fun-filled day with others who share the common bond of having grown up in New Milford and Sherman."

Proceeds benefit the Marc R. Mills Memorial Fund, a nonprofit under the auspices of the Connecticut Community Foundation.

“This year's tournament grew by roughly 40 percent over last year and our donations and sponsor involvement grew by nearly 50 percent,” Byrne said. “We are happy to announce that next year's event will again take place the Saturday of Village Fair Days.

“We are hoping to have 100 tournament participants for next year's event,” he added. “This annual event celebrates the town of New Milford and the common bond we all share of growing up in the Housatonic River valley region.

“It is a great way to reconnect with old friends, make some new ones and play golf at a beautiful golf course,” said Byrne. “Candlewood Valley Country Club has been a very gracious host for our first two years, and we look forward to many more years together for our annual event.”

To climax the afternoon awards banquet, Byrne introduced Art Cummings, former editor of The Spectrum and a 1965 graduate of NMHS, as the inaugural recipient of the tournament’s “Spirit of New Milford” award.

“We chose to honor Art with the inaugural award due to his lifelong dedication to the town and its residents,” Byrne said. “All of us have been influenced and inspired by Art's presence through his work with youth sports, the town paper or his friendly insight, and this award was long overdue.”

Moments earlier, Byrne and fellow committee member Dave Nicosia welcomed Bailey Walsh of New Milford and her brother, Collin, and parents Brian and Valerie Walsh.

“Through the efforts of the NMHS Reunion Golf Classic participants, sponsors and donors,” Byrne said, “we were able to raise $2,000 this year for the Marc R. Mills Memorial Fund, a nonprofit fund that helps to benefit other, local nonprofit organizations that reflect Marc's spirit and passions.”

Via the Mills fund, the tournament made a $1,000 donation to Closer to Free, an organization dedicated to the research and development of breakthrough cancer treatments. The donation was made in honor of Bailey, who recently started her recovery at home following treatments at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

“We were thrilled to find out the day before the tournament,” Byrne said, “that Bailey was given a clean bill of health from her doctors.”

In the golf competition, the winning team comprised Adam Pennucci, Scott Mulhare, Marc Celli and Chris O'Loughlin.

Dave Robles won the putting contest and donated a share of his prize by the Mills fund.

Those wishing to inquire about donations or sponsorships, or for information about the 2016 event, email Steve Byrne at stephenbyrne@sbcglobal.net.

For more photos, see updates at newmilfordspectrum.com .

Norm Cummings