Turf wasn’t the only green raised when former NBA stars, New York lawmakers and hundreds of other golfers teed off at Lido Golf Course for a charity outing to support cancer research.
The Pat Cairo Family Foundation had sunk more than $3 million into the cause leading up to its 17th annual golf outing Tuesday to raise funds for terminally ill cancer patients and women’s cancer research.
“We’ve all been affected by someone who has had cancer,” Walt “Clyde” Frazier, who led the New York Knicks to their only two NBA Championships in the 1970s, told the crowd.
The outing drew approximately 275 golfers and 100 volunteers. It was followed by a dinner at the nearby Sands Beach Club, where about 175 additional guests were in attendance.
Joseph Cairo, the Nassau OTB chairman who in 1995 founded of the charity in the name of his wife after she lost her battle with cancer, said that the outing was a “great turnout for a great cause” and “just a part of what we do.”
Beneficiaries include Calvary Hospital, an acute care specialty hospital in the Bronx where Pat Cairo was treated during the three months before her passing, and Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, a former president of the American Cancer Society who was her oncologist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Cancer Hospital.
“What’s important with this foundation is that people know exactly where money is going,” said New York State Sen. Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), the senate’s co-leader, who participated in the outing.
He added that the foundation’s contributions aided Runowicz and her team in the development of an FDA-approved HPV vaccine that protects women from cervical cancer, which Pat Cairo suffered from.
The foundation is also credited with ensuring passage of 1999 End of Life Care Law, which enforces respectful treatment of terminally ill cancer patients.
Also in attendance were former Knicks stars Earl “The Pearl” Monroe and John Starks as well as Nate “Tiny” Archibald, who played for the Boston Celtics.
Frazier touted the benefits if healthy living to prevent cancer.
“Whenever you have a problem, the doctor will say “a little more exercise, watch what you eat,”‘ said Frazier. “It plays a big part.”