“We wanted to do a nice thing for a great guy,” Golf Course at Glen Mills regular Tom Vecchione said.
The nice thing was sponsoring a pin flag at the Golf Course at Glen Mills and the great guy is veteran Glen Mills athletic trainer Gabe Fucci, who recently lost Sandy, his long time sweetheart and wife of nearly 50 years.
Vecchione and his friend Jerry Bonner sponsored the flag in conjunction with the Glen Mills Schools Golf Tournament held in early June. The flag graced the 16th green during the tournament on June 4th and until Fucci played the course the following Saturday with golfing buddy and great friend Phil Giarraputo. Fittingly, that would have been the weekend of Gabe and Sandy’s 50th wedding anniversary. Together, they raised four children and have 8 grandchildren.
“My daughter (Lauri Volpone) called me the night before we played and said that in some way, my wife would be with me on the course that day,” Fucci said. “She said there would be a sign that she was with me but she had no idea what was happening with the flag.”
Fucci and Giarraputo, often times the first golfers on the course in the morning, were joined by two other random players that day and Gabe was “overwhelmed” when he got to the 16th green.
“After my tee shot, we started walking towards the green and a bunch of people suddenly came out of the woods and from behind the green,” Fucci explained. “I didn’t know what was going on.”
The former Marine and Vietnam veteran quickly figured it out, however.
“I saw what was on the flag and was overwhelmed,” Fucci said.
What was going on was more than two dozen of Gabe’s friends, many of who are Glen Mills staff members, wanted to show him their support and be there as well. Some other groups of golfers joined Fucci’s foursome as they all played the last two holes together.
“That was pretty special,” Fucci said.
Vecchione and Bonner were happy to do such a nice thing for Fucci, and help the school’s students at the same time.
“Through the Golf Course at Glen Mills, I’ve known Gabe for about ten years and Jerry has known Gabe for about five years,” Vecchione said. “Gabe is a great person and we know how much the school means to him and how proud he is of the graduates. That’s another reason why we also did this for the whole Glen Mills community, past and present.”
Bonner was also happy to help present the flag to Fucci, a man who he has great respect for.
“Gabe has always impressed me as a man dedicated to his family and to the school,” Bonner explained. “He always talks about the kids at the school like they are his own, and I can always tell how much he cares. I’ve always admired and respected that about him. This represents that he has friends all around him.”
PHOTO: Ron Pilot, Mike Caber, Craig Schilpp, Phil Giarraputo, Jerry Bonner, Rich Linkchorst, Joe Zugg, and Graham Desmond were among the many friends who helped present the pin flag to Gabe (holding the pole.).