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Tom Watson to host dinner as part of Travelers partnership with ALS clinic

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Tom Watson tees off on the ninth hole during the final round of the Nature Valley First Tee Open at the Pebble Beach Golf Links on September 27, 2015 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

HARTFORD – This year, the primary beneficiary of the The Travelers Championship tournament will be the ALS Clinic at the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.

Each year, HSC cares for more than 250 Connecticut residents with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscle. Last August, Travelers Chairman Jay Fishman disclosed that he had been diagnosed with the disease.

The Travelers Championship is Aug. 4-7 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell and each year donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to local charities, supporting a diverse mix of more than 100 charitable causes throughout the region, including The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a long-standing tournament beneficiary that provides medically supervised summer camps and programs free of charge to children with serious illnesses and their families.

A fundraising dinner will also be held on Friday, August 5, to support the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research. The dinner will feature legendary golfer Tom Watson, award-winning sports columnist John Feinstein and Fishman. Feinstein and Watson founded the Bruce Edwards Foundation in honor of Watson’s longtime caddy and Wethersfield native, Bruce Edwards, who eventually lost his battle with ALS.

“Bringing these two organizations into the Travelers Championship family of philanthropic causes builds upon our mission to be a platform for nonprofit organizations in the Northeast,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube in a statement released by The Travelers Championship. “After all of the support that Jay Fishman and his family have given to our tournament, we are proud to support him in his efforts to help others who have been diagnosed with ALS.”

“We look forward to continuing our partnership with the Travelers Championship in 2016. The entire Travelers family has always been there for the Camp, and we applaud Jay’s commitment to improve the quality of care for ALS patients in Connecticut,” Jimmy Canton, CEO of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, said in the statement.

HSC is the only facility in Connecticut that is part of the ALS Association’s national network of Certified Treatment Centers of Excellence and is certified by the Muscular Dystrophy Association for ALS care. It also runs one of the largest research and clinical trial programs for ALS in New England.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to help individuals and families facing ALS, while continuing to support so many other charities across our region,” said Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Travelers Andy Bessette in the statement. “While Jay has been dealing with his own health care needs, he became aware of the great work HSC has been doing, and he wanted to help those patients. As a hometown company sponsoring a hometown tournament that benefits hometown charities, we’re pleased to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Travelers’ title sponsorship of Connecticut’s PGA TOUR event. This year, we hope to generate more money for charities than ever before with the support of the PGA TOUR, its players, the fans and the entire community.”

The Travelers Championship has generated more than $33 million for more than 500 nonprofit organizations across the region since the event began in 1952, and more than $10 million since Travelers became the title sponsor in 2007.

Tables at the Bruce Edwards Foundation Benefit Dinner can be purchased by contacting Tara Gerber at 860-502-6815 or by clicking here.

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