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The Brianna Rachel Fund for kids Golf Tournament

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bringing smiles to chronically ill children

'The whole theme of the fund is to bring a smile to a child's face during those times when they have to undergo procedures,' says Lucille Koncinsky, grandmother of Brianna Rachel Koncinsky. 'The reason the fund exists this was her idea.'

Brianna was 6 years old when she lost her two year fight with brain cancer. Twelve years later, her spirit continues to make a powerful impact on the lives of people she never knew.

Shortly after her passing, Brianna's family established The Brianna Rachel Fund for Kids to assist with the non-medical needs of chronically ill and hospitalized children and their families.

The Brianna fund provides happy distractions such as books, toys and games for children undergoing treatment for serious illnesses as well as table games for older children. According to Lucille Koncinsky, the idea for the fund came from Brianna when she was undergoing treatment and noticed that some of the other children would endure extended periods without family visits or toys to play with.

'When she was in the hospital getting treatment, Brianna spoke with her parents and said she wished she could do something to help other kids feel as good as she did,' Koncinsky told me. 'She was so grateful to have family come and visit and for any gift that she received to put a smile on her face after everything she was going through. This really was her idea.'

A significant amount of the fund's revenue is generated by the annual Brianna Rachel Fund for Kids Golf Tournament. This year's tournament is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Kenduskeag Golf and Country Club, 947 Grant Road in Kenduskeag.

Now in its 11th year, the scramble-style tournament offers golfers a choice between playing nine and 18 holes (the entry fee for the nine-hole tourney is $35; $60 for 18 holes). Tuffy Bear Discount Furniture in Glenburn is donating a hole-in-one prize of a $10,000 shopping spree.

Prizes will be offered in the men's, women's and mixed teams divisions and there will be prizes awarded for the longest drives and nearest the pin for men and women.

Raffle prizes ($1 per ticket or 10 for $5) include 100 square feet of Belgard Pavers donated by Granville Stone & Hearth in Ellsworth and Holden, pit tickets (near the stage) to see Keith Urban on Saturday, Sept. 1 contributed by an anonymous donor in addition to a tabletop gas grill and tool set.

Carts and tee times may be reserved by calling 884-7330 or 884-4199. Interested golfers or Brianna-fund donors may obtain more information by emailing  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

It is appropriate that the golf tournament bearing Brianna's name takes place at the Kenduskeag Golf and Country Club. The course was operated by Brianna's grandparents, Ed and Lucille Koncinsky, for many years.

Lucille Koncinsky thinks about Brianna often and remembers a very sweet, wise and brave little girl who had no time for tears in spite of her ordeal. 'I saw her almost every day from the day she was born,' Koncinsky told me. 'I only saw her cry once and it had nothing to do with her illness. She took everything in stride.'

'One day, Brianna's mother got a call from the hospital telling her that Brianna needed to return for another treatment. When Brianna realized that she had to go back to the hospital, she headed up the stairs to her room. When her mother asked where she was going, she replied that she was going to get her clothes ready for another trip to the hospital. She stopped on the stairs, looked down at her mother and asked, Have you called Emmie yet?' That was her nickname for me. You'd better call her. I can't do it. When I call her about going back to the hospital, she gets too emotional.''

In addition to honoring the memory of Brianna, the Brianna fund golf tournament is also in memory of her grandfather Ed Koncinsky and uncle Bob Girvan II who passed away in 2008.

Mike Dow is part of The Mike and Mike Show airing each morning on Kiss 94.5. Catch up with him at www.Facebook.com/MikeandMike and www.MikeDow.net.

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