The trophy is presented to Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame member John Rathbun, right, by Bill LeMon, a member of “The Coolican” organizing committee and longtime participant in the event. Rathbun and LeMon are both DeWitt residents.
Onondaga County The James J. “Bud” Coolican Memorial Golf Tournament, Central New York’s first golf tournament to raise money for the charity, has ended its 43-year run, having raised $900,000 for the American Cancer Society since 1970.
Each year’s grand prize winner got to take home the Frank Sinatra Trophy, which was given by the singer for the initial tournament. Sinatra heard about the event from songwriter Jimmy Van Heusen, a mutual friend of his and Coolican’s, who was a Syracuse native.
The Sinatra Trophy will now reside in the golf display at the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame, located at Driver’s Village in North Syracuse.
“The Coolican” has been played each year on one of four local courses: Cavalry Club, Bellevue, Lake Shore and Skaneateles. Each year’s profit has been close to $30,000, but the American Cancer Society’s national office recently ruled that local offices would no longer support events that produced less than $50,000 for ACS.