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Emma Fortin makes a putt during the Big Brothers Big Sisters Fore the Children Mini Golf Tournament on Sunday. (BENJAMIN KLEIN PHOTO)

Big Brothers Big Sisters mini golf tourney is Fore the Children

HOOKSETT — After days of high temperatures and rain, officials from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Manchester were relieved that the first Fore the Children Mini Golf Tournament had good weather for its nearly 100 participants Sunday at Legends Golf.

The tournament, which Executive Director Katie Orlando hopes will be the first of an annual event, raised more than $4,000 for the non-profit organization, which has paired more than 300 children with mentors in 57 towns and cities across the state.

"This is a fundraiser to benefit our local mentoring programs for children facing adversity in the community," Orlando said. "The cost of supporting a mentor relationship for a year is about $1,000, so every $1,000 we raise we can add a new pair."

With good weather, the attraction of miniature golf, and a carefully scheduled tournament that avoided conflicting with NFL games, Orlando said she was thrilled with the turnout.

"We are really impressed by Hooksett and the surrounding communities coming out to support us," she said.

For many of those who played in the tournament, the attraction was equal parts helping out a good cause and the allure of a family-friendly activity like miniature golf.

"It's a great cause and (Big Brothers Big Sisters) is a great organization, and this is an event we can bring our two boys to. It's a beautiful day for mini golf," said Kieran Ramsey of Goffstown.

Stacey Howerter of Lee signed up with her husband, friends and young daughter."My friend told me about it and we are here to support them, it's always good to support the kids. I think my daughter will have fun, but we will see how long that lasts," Howerter laughed.

Chris Stavrinos of Manchester said that while she doesn't volunteer as a mentor, she usually makes it a point to attend the annual fundraising events held by Big Brothers Big Sisters.

"It is totally worth supporting," she said.

Melanie Ossman of Henniker said that she and her friend created the Henniker Hackers to enter the tournament.

"We just want to help out with the fundraising, and it sounded like fun. This is unique fundraising, and it just sounded like a good time," Ossman said.

Orlando encouraged anyone interested in volunteering or donating to Big Brothers Big Sisters to visit


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