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Putt-ing in for a good cause in Cicero

Intense heat and humidity didn't stop over 100 players and volunteers from enjoying a day of golf, food and fun on July 17 at the fourth annual North Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps Golf Tournament at the Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club in Cicero.

Golfers paid $175 apiece for a round of captain-and-crew golf, with a chance to win a variety of tournament contests including closest to the pin, farthest drive and the furthest traveler.

Paul Luteran, Keith Lindstrom, Greg Boshart and Al Mundo, of GBI Associates, took home the winners' plaque. The furthest traveler was John Rothenberger, who came all the way from Fleetwood, Pa. Jessica Landers walked away with $1,200 dollars from the golf ball drop event.

All other proceeds went to NAVAC.

For Dede Van Allen, financial development director of NAVAC, the tournament was right on par with previous years, despite a lower player turnout.

"So many new people came out this year to play, not to mention the same ones who come back every year," she said. "It just goes to show how much the community really cares and we really, really appreciate it."

Local businesses and residents showed their philanthropic side without even swinging a club, paying $100 or $300 to sponsor individual holes throughout the course. It was a popular proposition Van Allen said, noting that there were so many sponsors, that some holes had to be "doubled-up."

More proof of the community's benevolence could be seen in NAVAC's NAVSTAR Rehabilitation Van, which was purchased last year to help firefighters recover from the effects of smoke inhalation, fire, and dehydration. Money for the van came from donations, businesses and fundraisers like the annual golf tournament.

"Over 44 percent of firefighters who have heart attacks have them while on the job," Van Allen said. "The van was bought with this in mind, offering fans, oxygen, water, chairs and a towel

The van was pulling double time at the tournament, offering sun-soaked golfers a chance to sit, drink some water, and catch some spray from the misting fan. Just last week the van assisted NAVAC firefighters recover after the fire on Shaver Street.

Lenny Scarano, a lifetime member of NAVAC, said local businesses and donators have made NAVAC the reliable life-saving entity it is.

"We're a real tight-knit community," he said. "And that's what this is all about."

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