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Norwalk Golf Tourney To Benefit Connecticut Burn Center

Last year’s inaugural Michael Ness Play It Forward Golf Tournament and awards banquet raised $15,000 for the Connecticut Burn Center.
Last year’s inaugural Michael Ness Play It Forward Golf Tournament and awards banquet raised $15,000 for the Connecticut Burn Center. Photo Credit: Contibuted

NORWALK, Conn. -- The Michael Ness Play It Forward Golf Tournament will take place Tuesday, May 19, at Oak Hills Park in Norwalk.

The tournament will help raise money to support the Connecticut Burn Center and to celebrate the life of a local young man who was treated at the Bridgeport Hospital facility.

Last year’s inaugural tournament and awards banquet raised $15,000 for Connecticut's only regional burn center. The center treated several local young men, including the tournament’s namesake, when they sustained life-threatening burns in an Aug. 18, 2013 fire.

"The Michael Ness Golf Tournament illustrates how the loss of a loved one, while extremely difficult for family and friends, can inspire acts of kindness that benefit others," said Stephen Jakab, president of the Bridgeport Hospital Foundation. 

The first tournament last May was nearly sold out with 140 golfers and 225 banquet guests. This year’s auction will feature original art work by local artist Melissa Boccanfuso, a private in-home catered dinner prepared by renowned local chef Matthew Ness and dozens of gift certificates, sporting event tickets and valuable sports memorabilia.

Tickets are available online at: To make a donation to the burn center in Ness' name, e-mail The fundraiser is being organized by New Canaan chef Matthew Ness in memory of his brother, a Norwalk native and former Brien McMahon High School lacrosse player who at 22 succumbed to the injuries sustained in a house fire on Pettom Road in Norwalk.

Now the Ness family is hoping the greater Fairfield County community will rally again and help them “play forward” the many acts of kindness and generosity that have been demonstrated and join in raising money for the medical institution.

“When our family was in the midst of this horrible and personal tragedy, the Connecticut Burn Center embraced us all, providing the finest in medical care for my brother and supporting us emotionally and physically,” said tourney co-chair Matthew Ness. “When we needed them, the burn center was there for us.” 

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