Ray and Bobbie Kaligian still sensed trepidation among some in the 80-member field at last year’s inaugural Ray Kaligian III Memorial Golf Tournament.
As the charity event that honors their son, a former Geneva boys golf standout who died from carbon monoxide poising in February 2013, returns for a second round Saturday, the Kaligians want everyone at Geneva’s Mill Creek Golf Club to know something:
There can’t be too many stories or anecdotes about Ray Kaligian III.
“It’s still bittersweet for us. It’s still difficult,” Bobbie Kaligian said. “But it’s so great that we have this event. People don’t want to be asked, and I get that. People may even avoid talking to us because they just don’t know what to say. We love this event because it’s about Ray. It’s all about Ray. We’ve learned so much about our son – good, bad and in between – and it’s so touching to learn things about our son that we didn’t know before.”
One given: their son brought an infectious personality wherever he went.
Registration for Saturday’s tournament at Mill Creek stood at 95 players and counting as of Monday afternoon, with guests expected from several states, as well as Canada.
The Kaligians worked alongside Bryan Knapp, the tournament director and Ray Kaligian III’s longtime friend and Geneva golf teammate, to establish the Remembering Ray Kaligian III NFP as a registered 501c(3) organization. The charity reached that status in April, and this year’s tournament will raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project, Anderson Animal Shelter and the Kids Golf Foundation at Rich Harvest Farms.
“All three of those are just really nice fits with Ray, we thought,” Knapp said. “We really wanted to identify organizations we thought Ray would support himself.”
The group also welcomed the contributions of Jeff Shaw, Kaligian III’s best friend and fraternity brother at Illinois, for the tournament. Shaw was unable to attend in 2014.
“Through all of this grief, we’re very lucky to have our son’s friends, the ones that really count, still in our lives,” Bobbie Kaligian said.
The tournament, an 18-hole scramble beginning at 1 p.m., costs $100 a player per four-person team and includes golf and dinner. Golf only costs $75, with dinner priced at $25. For information or to register, log on to www.raykaligian3memorialgolf.com.
“Ray’s legacy and his contact with people was always very strong, and it’s represented by the people that are coming in,” Ray Kaligian said.
• Kevin Druley is sports editor of the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @KevinDruley.