Golf tournament raises money for charities

Travelers Championship is more than just a golf tournament; it raises money for charity (WFSB)

The Travelers Championship is more than just a professional golf tournament; it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for several different charities.

This year, money will help Connecticut children with disabilities go to summer camp. It will also give independence to those who struggle with ALS.

Peilan Wang gets a little emotional when it comes to her oldest daughter, 11-year-old Serena, who can’t do much on her own.

But every year, thanks to the Hole in the Wall Gang, Serena gets to go to summer camp.

"Every year we are just so excited to go and they have everything - they take care of everything,” Wang said.

Hole in the Wall Gang sends 1,000 kids with disabilities to camp, and throughout the year, it provides weekend trips and hospital services.

"We serve 20,000 seriously ill children and family members every year, so support of the Travelers Championship and their title sponsor Travelers is huge for us,” said Beth Starkin, of Hole in the Wall Gang.

Another grateful non-profit is the Hospital for Special Care based in New Britain.

Money raised will help people like Brian Salvo and others who struggle with ALS.

"I have to ask someone for everything - my kids are my caregivers- they are 8 and 10, and my wife. I don't think my kids signed up at that age to be caregivers,” Salvo said.

He has been living with ALS for 8 years and recently was given a life-changing gift from Jay Fishman, the former chairman and CEO of Travelers. Fishman died last year, shortly after the tournament, and his gift was a motorized wheelchair.

"A lot of time insurance I feel is too late. To be proactive with this disease to try to take the strain off your body, this chair does that. You would have to be paralyzed,” Salvo said.

"That's a $40,000 wheelchair, it’s not something an insurance company would have paid for but its life changing for him and saves his body and not tax himself in the same way,” said Lynn Ricci, of the Hospital for Special Care.

Jay Fishman came to the tournament every single day last year, despite his illness, talking to many people.

The donation from the Travelers is helping more people live independent lives.

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