A shot in the dark is usually a crazy guess. But, to supporters of the Morrison Center, a disability service provider in southern Maine, it’s the apt name of the annual nighttime golf tournament at the Purpoodock Club in Cape Elizabeth. Sixty-five Morrison Center supporters gathered on September 10 for a putting contest, buffet dinner and glow-in-the-dark tournament followed by sundaes and late-night prizes.
“I play in a lot of golf tournaments,” said Dan Honan, Portland board member. “You won’t be playing in a cooler like this.”
Honan kicked off the event in the early 1990s with Tim Thompson, a longtime Morrison Center board member and member of the Purpoodock Club. “We had all kinds of weather conditions,” said Thompson, “but the only thing that kept us from that was last year with COVID.”
When asked how a golf tournament goes in the dark, Thompson opened a ball and put a little glow stick in it. “The difference between playing with these balls and normal balls during the day is that you can’t lose them,” he said.
Not losing sight of other players or the field, however, adds to the level of difficulty – and the fun.
“It’s a challenge,” said Amy Whitmore, assistant general manager. “We have a lot of flashlights and glow sticks.”
Between sponsorships, ticket sales and a live auction, A Shot in the Dark raised $ 23,000 for Morrison Center’s programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities.
“It’s a basic fundraising element that complements all of our programs and a great way to connect with board members and supporters,” said CEO Mark Ryder.
The Morrison Center is currently running a fundraising campaign for the construction of a children’s residential building, school and therapeutic facilities at Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester.
“It’s really necessary,” Whitmore said. “There are over 75 kids who have had to go to out-of-state programs because we don’t have the capacity here yet. “
Amy Paradysz is a Scarborough-based freelance writer and photographer. She can be reached at [email protected].