PHOENIXVILLE - An estimated 48 golfers stepped up to the plate to participate in the Second Annual Andre Thornton Charity Golf Classic at the Pickering Valley Golf Club, Thursday morning.

Returning to the area to play alongside Jim McCarthy, James Mobley and brother Greg Thornton, was Phoenixville's favorite son, Andre Thornton.

"I'm very pleased with the turnout for these event," he said. "It's always nice to come back to Phoenixville, and especially playing some golf."

According to tournament organizer Tim Harris, the event brought in an estimated $5,500 for two charities, The Clinic on Church Street, and Phoenixville Area Positive Alternatives (PAPA).

"Ever since last year's event ended, we've been working hard on the planning of this event," said Harris. "Everyone involved, especially the folks from The Clinic and PAPA, have come together and make this possible.

"The tournament itself ran smoothly and everyone had a great time. We've got a good mix of newcomers and folks who played here last year."

Elliott Bennett, executive director, The Clinic, who played in the rain at last year's event, was in attendance.

"The weather's been right on and with as many golfers we've had today, the word's getting out about this tournament," he said. "I was going to play again, but decided to help out at the clubhouse.

"People are starting to realize the importance of The Clinic, and word of mouth is very strong. We've received more patients this year. We saw 6,000 people last year, and it's functions like this that help us see our mission through."

Newcomers to the tournament was the foursome of Tom Patterson, Patriot Bank; Mark Cunningham, Crown Therapy; and Gloria and Mike Romano, Friends of PAPA.

"We're out here having some fun and supporting two great causes," said Patterson.

Following the tournament, a dinner ceremony was held at the Columbia Station.

Harris thanks everyone for attending and told the crowd that he'll begin planning the third annual classic shortly.

"It's so vital to raise funds for two important causes in our area," said Harris. "Both do a lot of hard and it's refreshing to see everything that they accomplish."

Dr. Lorna Stuart, The Clinic, told the audience that "looking after people who need care is a joy for us at The Clinic. For everyone who's supported us - we thank you."

Speaking on behalf of PAPA was Greg Thornton, who stated, "PAPA began from a conversation held at a barbershop. We started PAPA with a group of ten individuals, and we now have a board of nine. We've done so much in such a short amount of time that we're surprised we get it done."

Noting that "Phoenixville has a warm place in his heart," Andre Thornton said it best by stating, "It's amazing what can happen when people are committed to such a good cause."

Harris awarded $50 gift certificates to Modell's to Greg Thornton for longest drive; Jim Colter for closest to the pin; Paul Bridge for longest putt and for the winning team of the tournament, with a 4 under par, Bob Shewbrooks, Jeff Wojcik, Kevin Duffy and Pat Glorioso, representing Wyeth Pharmaceuticals in Upper Providence.

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