BOSTON (May 2, 2012) – Cancer may have led Joe Andruzzi to retire from pro football, but the former Patriots guard is still on the offensive, tackling cancer through his Foundation. On June 18, he’ll gather a squad of some of New England’s finest pro athletes and local celebrities – including Patriots Rob Gronkowski and Rob Ninkovich – for the fourth annual Joe Andruzzi and Friends Golf Tournament at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, Mass. All proceeds raised through the event benefit the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, which provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families, and funds pediatric brain cancer research.
Joe and his wife Jen, Executive Director of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, will be joined by a star-studded lineup of former teammates, current players, celebrities and friends during the four-person scramble format tournament. In addition to Patriots tight end Gronkowski and linebacker Ninkovich, longtime supporters of the Foundation who have played in the golf tournament include: Patriots players Jermaine Cunningham, Dan Koppen, Matt Light, Logan Mankins, and Sebastian Vollmer, as well as Patriots alumni Christian Fauria and Harold Shaw, and WAAF-FM “Hill-Man Morning Show” host Greg Hill.
Individual tickets and a limited number of sponsorship packages are available at JoeAndruzziFoundation.org or by calling 774-284-4694.
“We’re proud that our Foundation is growing every year, helping more patients and families and funding cutting-edge brain cancer research,” said Jen Andruzzi. “The Joe Andruzzi and Friends Golf Tournament is an important piece of our annual fundraising efforts, and we really appreciate the support we receive from the Patriots and all of our donors, sponsors and friends.”
“Having survived non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma a few short years ago myself, I know first-hand the struggles of cancer patients and their families,” said Joe Andruzzi, who serves as President of the Foundation. “I am so grateful to be in remission, and now Jen and I are dedicated to helping those still in the trenches – especially those struggling to pay for basic necessities like rent, mortgages, food and utilities.”
The fourth annual Tournament will begin as golfers gather for a shotgun tee-off at 1:30 p.m. and conclude the round with a helicopter drop at 6 p.m., when 750 numbered golf balls, pre-sold to raise money for the Foundation, will be dropped from the sky over the 18th green. The owner of the golf ball that gets closest to the pin will win a two authentic Patriots jersey autographed by Gronkowski and Ninkovich. For more information on the golf ball drop, including the opportunity to purchase a ball ($10) for a chance to win, is available at http://bit.ly/golfballdrop. Cocktails and appetizers will follow at 6:15 p.m., with an awards ceremony and dinner commencing at 7 p.m.
The evening culminates with a live auction, featuring priceless sports memorabilia, entertainment packages and more. In addition, a silent auction during the cocktail hour will help the Andruzzis raise funds for this important cause. Those not in attendance can still participate in the silent auction by visiting its online counterpart, available beginning June 1, 2012, at http://www.biddingforgood.com/joeandruzzifndn. Visitors to the site will also be privy to a special preview of the live auction items.
The fourth annual Joe Andruzzi and Friends Golf Tournament is supported by an impressive roster of sponsors, including 2012 presenting sponsor Credit Unions Kids at Heart, as well as Millennium, Home Depot, AutoTrader.com, Grey Goose, Salvatore’s and Bob’s Discount Furniture.
“We’ve been privileged to worked with Joe and Jen Andruzzi for some time now, before they even started the Joe Andruzzi Foundation, and find their tireless efforts to help families battling the effects of cancer to be truly inspirational,” said Jane Melchionda, President and CEO of Eastern Corporate Federal Credit Union (EasCorp) and founder of Credit Unions Kids at Heart. “The Foundation’s work aligns perfectly with our mission to help sick and injured children and I speak for all of our supporting credit unions when I say that we could not sponsor a more deserving Foundation or fundraising event.”
Since its inception, the Joe Andruzzi Foundation has provided financial assistance to more than 100 cancer patients and their families, helping them make rent or mortgage and utility payments so families can focus on treatment, not bills. It has also donated more than $300,000 to Dr. Mark Kieran at Children’s Hospital Boston to help fund pediatric brain cancer research. In addition, the Foundation also provides patients with emotional and social support, through events and personal visits from Joe, accompanied by current and former teammates.
“I’m constantly impressed by the tireless work of Joe and Jen and I’m deeply moved by the mission of the Joe Andruzzi Foundation,” said Rob Gronkowski. “We’ve all been touched by cancer in one way or another, so the opportunity to play even a small part in the amazing support the Foundation offers to patients and their families is such a privilege.”
For more information on the event or sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.joeandruzzifoundation.org.
About The Joe Andruzzi Foundation
The Joe Andruzzi Foundation was founded in 2008 to help cancer patients and their families make critical mortgage, rent and utility payments during financially-challenging times, and to fund pediatric brain cancer research. It also provides patients with social and emotional support and acts as a general resource for families. Joe Andruzzi, a former offensive guard with the New England Patriots, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Burkitt’s lymphoma in 2007 and was treated at Boston’s Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Disease-free less than a year later, Joe dedicated his life to supporting other cancer patients and funding life-saving research. The Joe Andruzzi Foundation is Joe and his wife Jen’s second philanthropic effort; in 2003, they started the C.J. Buckley Cancer Research Fund at Children’s Hospital Boston in memory of C.J. Buckley, a young man with an inoperable brain tumor who touched their hearts before his death in 2002. The fund supports much-needed, innovative research into the molecular nature of pediatric brain tumors, novel treatment therapies and alternatives to multiple surgeries. The aim is to contribute to the growing knowledge base of available brain cancer cures, making treatment more widely available to all.