The Gianna Cirella Foundation held its first-ever memorial golf tournament this past weekend at the North Kingstown Golf Course.
One hundred and forty-four golfers made the trip to compete in the scramble tournament, along with many other volunteers that lent a hand to the cause. There was a dinner, raffles, and other activities throughout the day to celebrate Gianna’s memory and raise funds for her foundation. The tournament raised over $10,000 in total.
Gianna was a Toll Gate soccer player that passed away unexpectedly in 2017 after being stricken with sepsis. Shortly after her passing, her family and others in the Warwick community joined together to form the Gianna Cirella Foundation, which raises funds for sepsis research.
The foundation has held two 5k races and two galas, but this was the first time it hit the links.
“My husband is the golfer in the family and he and his friends wanted to do this, so we decided to give it a try. It is a pretty big event with planning, but we have a lot of people that help us and we made a go of it. I was just hoping to fill the tournament, it just blew us away, it really exceeded our expectations,” said Gianna’s mother, Tara.
Tara, as well as the rest of the Cirella family and foundation, are appreciative of the continued support that it has received over the past two years, and hope to make the golf tournament another annual event.
“It has been ridiculous. We’ve had two galas and two 5k’s, and each event we think that maybe we’ll scale it back, or it may not be as big. We threw in this third event, and we don’t even know how to say thank you at this point,” said Tara. “Between the people that came to golf, the people that gave us the raffle prizes, the volunteers, the support had been unbelievable, it’s just amazing.”
They are also excited to be able to contribute those funds and collaborate with the RI Department of Health as well as Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
“With the numbers that we are now starting to bring in, we have really become more and more involved with the Department of Health, and our involvement is now financial involvement, we’re no longer just here with ideas,” said Tara. “We bring financial backing, and that’s huge for us to be able to continue to contribute financially to Hasbro. We can’t let that stop.”