Friends of the Valley Foundation was born from the oldest running charity golf tournament in the Deerfield Valley, The Bartender’s Open. The Bartender’s Open was formed in 1974. In 1974, the Tournament was run by Jim Schipke, John Stewart, and Bob Broder. Jim at that time owned The Roadhouse Restaurant, John was a bartender at Poncho’s Wreck, and Bob owned Two Tannery Road Restaurant. Jim, John, & Bob ran the tournament for 12 years and then the tournament was run by John alone for the next 5 years until Jim joined back in. In 1997, the reins were handed over to Chris Tighe who ran the tournament until 2008. Chris was moving out of the Valley and approached two second homeowners, Kevin Ryan and Chris Zizza, about taking over the tournament.
Kevin & Chris decided that they would take the tournament over if they could convince full time resident Lynn Bucossi to join them on the board.
The focus of the golf tournament is raising money for charitable causes in the Valley. The boards mission statement is “In the Valley, For the Valley”. We have added several scholarships, grants and awards since our taking over the tournament in 2009. Other golf tournaments are now under the Friends of the Valley Foundation umbrella. As more money is raised each year, the foundation takes on more worthwhile causes in the Valley.
As the Foundation moves forward, it continues to grow & change. As needs arise in the Valley, the Foundation adds causes or makes changes that make sense for the current condition in the Valley. However many changes are made, the Foundation will stay true to its core mission of keeping all monies raised in the Valley.
All three board members extend their thanks to the entire Valley for their past, current, & future support. The Valley is truly a special place and we know we are blessed to be a part of it.