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Grace Church Honors New Bishop of Western Massachusetts and Retired Army General at Sixth Annual Grace Golf Tournament and Gala on July 9
An incredible event in the life of Grace Church occurred on June 2 when its rector, the Reverend Dr. Douglas Fisher was elected Bishop of Western Massachusetts. On July 9, 2012, Grace Church will honor Fisher during the sixth annual Golf Tournament and Gala at the Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club.
“Though we shall now lose Doug to our neighboring state, we joyfully see all around us the fruits of his time among us, in the many ministries he started and the number of lives he touched,” said tournament organizer Jim Ball. “When confronted by a need in our community, Doug responded by proposing outreach programs to answer that need, which now will stand as enduring legacies of his passion for social justice and human decency.”
Grace Church’s largest fundraising event of the year, the golf tournament includes breakfast, luncheon courtesy of Panera Bread, and morning and afternoon rounds of golf, offering golfers of all skill levels the opportunity to play the private, members-only Millbrook Golf Course, one of the area's most beautiful, challenging courses. Two flight times for golf are available at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., followed by a gala dinner and auction at the Golf and Tennis Club beginning at 6:00 p.m.
“Grace Church is an activist community church,” said Fisher. “We address the needs of Eastern Dutchess County. We are here for immigrants with ESL programs, tax workshops, and advocacy. We are here for those suffering economic hardships with two food ministries in Poughkeepsie and Amenia Union and with an unemployment support group. We are here for seniors and youth and those who need counseling. We serve the community with an acclaimed preschool. And we have a vibrant program for children in Tanzania. This is our most important fundraiser to support these ministries.”
M.L. Ball, one of the organizers of the event, noted that the Grace Church Golf Tournament and Dinner on July 9 will be Father Doug’s last appearance at this event before assuming the role of Bishop of Western Massachusetts, a post he was elected to on June 2. “Father Doug has graciously agreed to be our keynote speaker,” said Ball. “This is your chance to honor this incomparable priest, community leader, voice for the voiceless, and friend.”
Fisher said his keynote speech will address the way Jesus “mashed up” the two great Jewish commandments into one commandment: Love God with your whole heart and soul and mind AND love your neighbor as yourself. “We no longer have the luxury of a private spiritual journey,” said Fisher. “We are in this together. Forever. Meeting human need and love of God can never be separated.” Fisher said he will probably throw in a few Yankee stories to illustrate the point.
At this year’s Gala, Grace Church will also be honoring Dr. William Augerson, a retired United States Army General, who has unceasingly served Grace Church, our country, our community, numerous charities and social justice causes.
“Grace Church is about service and so is Dr. William Augerson,” said Fisher. “Bill has served his community, his country and his church. In "retirement" Bill and his wife, Ginny, have served as volunteers on over a dozen human service agencies in Millbrook and Dutchess County. Bill, a Rotarian, embodies ‘service over self.’"
The evening gala at the Millbrook Golf and Tennis Club features a locally-sourced three course gourmet dinner. A live and silent auction is also an integral part of the evening’s festivities. Committee member Diane Jackson Schnoor said the auction will feature such items as a week in a vacation cabin in the mountains of North Carolina, a week in a beach home on St. George Island in Florida, four premium Legends box seats to the Yankees-Red Sox game on July 29, four Legends seats to the Yankees-Orioles game on August 31, two tickets and a backstage tour for the upcoming Broadway production of Annie, a Tiffany & Co. platter from Gracie’s Attic, and a variety of spa services, golf gift certificates, and interesting and unique items for the home.
“We are very excited about the range and quality of the items for auction this year,” said Schnoor. “My personal favorite is the chance to bring three friends to golf with Father Doug before he leaves to become Bishop of Western Massachusetts later this fall. I think there will be a lot of friendly competition for that item.”
Tickets may be purchased for the golf tournament or dinner or both. Contact Maria Galli at the Grace Church office before July 5 at email@example.com. Ticket prices for the golf tournament only are $125, tickets for the tournament and dinner are $175, and tickets for the dinner only are $100. For more information, please visit http://gracemillbrook.org.
“This beautiful gala event is indeed a fitting opportunity to honor two men who have given so much to all of us these many, many years,” said Ball.