Jenna Betti Fundraiser
Apr 01, 2015 08:34AM
● By Jennifer Neys
By Andy Armosino
Many of you are aware that March 2 marked the first anniversary of the unexpected passing of 14 year-old Jenna Betti. It is hard to believe it has been one full year since the accident on the train tracks near Howe Road took her life. It has been 12 months of pain and heartache for the Betti family, friends, and countless members of our community.
Some good, however, is starting to occur. Although that tragic day one year ago remains wretched in our minds, a bit of healing has started taking place. Led by a passionate desire to cherish the memory of her daughter, Dena Betti, has somehow drawn on her courage and strength to found #hersmile, a nonprofit charity focused on reaching out to other families who have experienced tragedy in their lives. How Dena has overcome her own extremely difficult circumstances to help others is nothing short of amazing and inspirational. We should all take note and learn from her. To date, eight families have benefited from Dena and #hersmile.
March 2 also marked the charity’s first major fundraiser, the 1st Jenna Betti Memorial Golf Tournament. A field full of 144 golfers and scores of volunteers gathered early morning to show their support. Good golfers. Bad golfers. Frankly, it didn't matter, as long as you were there. There was a monster shot on the Longest Drive Hole that nearly reached the green, and we witnessed another gentleman (who will remain unnamed) dribble one barely an inch off the tee on that very same hole. Laughs and cheering were loud and plentiful throughout the day, but none more than when Dena ended her round by sinking an 18-foot putt with her bright pink ball.
A lunch and auction/raffle awards ceremony followed. Endless prizes and memorabilia lined the crowded room as Dena took center stage to deliver a heartfelt speech for the ages that did not leave a dry eye in the house. Whether you have known her for years or just met her that day, her encouraging words brought you to your knees. All in all, with the support of sponsors, donations, and human kindness, a whopping $35,000 was raised. Although the charity is still in its infancy, it is already making a difference in the world, and thanks to the incredible generosity of our community and beyond, many more unfortunate families will be touched by #hersmile. All in the name of Jenna Betti.