Friday, June 25, 2021

Person of the Week

Off the Sidelines: McGlone Helping Guilford Sideliners’ Annual Golf Tourney Return June 25

1

Longtime Guilford Sideliners member Brian McGlone, who retired in 2020 from his role as Guilford economic development manager, is currently hard at work to help support the Sideliners’ successful return of the John F. Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament to the links at Portland Golf Club on Friday, June 25. Photo courtesy of Brian McGlone

Longtime Guilford Sideliners member Brian McGlone, who retired in 2020 from his role as Guilford economic development manager, is currently hard at work to help support the Sideliners’ successful return of the John F. Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament to the links at Portland Golf Club on Friday, June 25. (Photo courtesy of Brian McGlone)

Although Guilford Sideliners had to sideline its annual fundraising event in 2020, luckily, they have Brian McGlone to help bring it back on-line in 2021. The retired Guilford economic development manager and longtime Sideliner is currently hard at work to help support the successful return of the John F. Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament to the links at Portland Golf Club on Friday, June 25.

The shotgun start tourney provides entrants with a day of golf, carts, food, and drinks between the nines. The event wraps up with awards, raffles, 50/50 raffle, and a commemorative gift. It’s named in honor of the late John F. Sullivan, who spent 46 years with Guilford Sideliners and became the leading sponsor for the annual golf tournament.

The tourney is the main fundraising activity for Guilford Sideliners, founded in 1958. The all-volunteer group generates fundraising and support from the local business community to deliver supplemental support across all Guilford High School (GHS) sports teams as well as support and recognition for individual athletes.

“We often say we might be one of the best-kept secrets in Guilford,” says Brian. “When Sideliners started back in ‘58, there were fewer high school sporting teams to begin with. As things evolved, with more and more teams added, many people started joining booster clubs for their child’s specific sport. So where we once had 25 to 30 members, we now have under a dozen. We’re a small but committed group.”

Brian first signed on with Sideliners about 25 years ago, when the eldest of the McGlone’s three daughters was a young GHS student.

“I started when she was about 15—she’s 40 now. And my youngest daughter graduated 17 years ago, but I have stayed with the Sideliners because I appreciate the mission,” says Brian. “There’s a great group of people that are currently Sideliners, and even though my kids are well out of the school, I just think it’s a worthwhile cause, and that’s why I’m staying with it.”

Brian is a founding organizer of the Sideliners’ annual golf tournament. A member of the Clinton Country Club, where he serves on the Board of Finance, Brian’s loved the game of golf since he was a kid and is especially enjoying it now that he’s retired.

“I’m from western Pennsylvania, so as a six- or seven-year-old, I was cheering on my hero, Arnie Palmer,” he says. “My dad was a golfer and my three brothers, [too,] and I started caddying when I was about 12. As a caddy, we were able to play on Mondays. So I’ve had over 50 years of playing golf.”

Eighteen years ago, Brian was happy to help Guilford Sideliners transition its fundraising efforts from parking cars at the Durham Fair and candy sales to holding an annual golf tourney. Due to skipping last year because of the pandemic, this year’s tourney is the 17th annual rather than the 18th.

“At the Durham Fair, we needed a lot of people power to be there covering 12 hours or more a day for three days, often in the rain and mud,” he says. “And we earned about $5,000 for doing that, and then had a candy sale, which raised a relatively modest amount. With our first tournament, we cleared well over $12,000, so we more than doubled our fundraising efforts with this one event.”

The cumulative amount of support the Sideliners has been able to generate for GHS athletics as a result of its annual tournaments is even more impressive.

“When I look over our involvement, just in the golf tournament, I’d say we’ve raised $150,000 to $175,000 that’s been invested back,” says Brian. “Sometimes, when you look at a one-time event, it doesn’t seem significant, but when you look over the period of years, it’s very different.”

Much of the success of each tourney relies not only on the golfers who sign on to play, but on the many sponsoring companies and local businesses that make an effort to support the event. Main sponsors of the 2021 John F. Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament are J.J. Sullivan, Proforma, Bishops Orchards, Munger Construction, Sullivan Funeral Home, and Brenton Point Wealth Advisors. Brian says the Sideliners are grateful to every sponsor and each organization that pitches in to help.

“Whether they’re sponsoring at a higher level of sponsorship opportunity or a tee marker, we have an awful lot of local businesses that have supported us, and the vast majority are Guilford businesses,” he says. “And if they’re not able to provide a sponsorship, many will follow up with a raffle item. It amazes us how generous everybody is.”

Giving Back to GHS Athletics

Through the years, Guilford Sideliners have turned tournament proceeds into some incredible supplemental support for many areas of the GHS Athletic Program. Contributions have included new banners in the gym, a shed for tennis team equipment, scorer table and team chairs, scholarships to support sports camps, fitness center and training room equipment, a portable P.A. system, and much more.

Sideliners also sponsor the annual Senior Athletic Awards Night, which has been held for more than 60 years to honor graduating athletes. Brian also emceed the event up until a few years ago.

“The Senior Awards Night is one of the things we’re most proud of,” says Brian. “When I’m standing on stage, seeing these scholar athletes and listening to the list of accomplishments these high school seniors have accomplished, it blows me away. As Sideliners, it’s one of our most proud nights, to recognize these folks for their scholarship as well as their athleticism.”

Helping His Hometown

Brian and his wife, Sue, have been Guilford residents for more than 41 years. After spending 30 years in the private sector, Brian signed on to serve the Town of Guilford as its economic development manager for nine years, retiring in March 2020. In addition to his regular duties, he helped his hometown successfully navigate several important milestones including the development of the Guilford Commons shopping center and Guilford’s 375th Celebration. During his tenure, Brian also joined the board of the bi-annual Guilford Performing Arts Festival, on which he still serves.

“I started in my old role as the economic development manager, but then they asked me to stay on, and I was happy to,” he says. “Right now, we’re planning for the festival coming in September of 2021. It will be a more modest event [than past years], but it still takes a huge amount of planning and fundraising and grant writing, and I’m happy to be on that board to help planning and organizing for that.”

As hoped, the festival has become an economic driver for the town, boosting tourism as it attracts thousands to visit Guilford over the course of several days and take in the variety of featured performances around town.

“It’s not only benefited our Guilford residents, but it’s met our goal to help drive people to Guilford and let them find out what kind of community we’re all fortunate to live in,” says Brian.

The McGlones reside in Guilford’s Mulberry Point area, where Brian has served its association board as past president, past vice president, and currently as treasurer.

“We’ve lived in this town for 41-plus years and it seems like yesterday,” says Brian. “We raised our three daughters through the whole school system. It’s our intention to stay here throughout our retirement years. We just love it here.”

A Member of the Team

Guilford Sideliners is always seeking more volunteers to sign on to assist this worthwhile organization so that it can continue to support GHS athletics for many more years to come, Brian notes.

“We would love to have people that are interested join us,” says Brian, adding, “Hey, you don’t have to have a kid in sports—I don’t!”

Brian also emphasizes he’s just one member of the Sideliners’ all-volunteer team.

“I’m one person out of the whole Sideliners great organization. Everyone is committed to the mission,” he says.

On behalf of Guilford Sideliners, Brian also wants to thank the sponsors and businesses that continue to support this group in its mission.

“We can’t thank our businesses enough, including the vast majority which are local folks that support our event,” says Brian.

Guilford Sideliners is still accepting 2021 John F. Sullivan Memorial Golf Tournament sponsorships at multiple levels, through Tuesday, June 1. The deadline to register as a golfer is Friday, June 18, or while spots last, for the Friday, June 25 tournament (rain or shine). Registration ($155) includes food, drinks, and a golf cart. Registration forms are available at the Guilford Sideliners Facebook page (/Guilford Sideliners). Due to COVID-19, space is limited; registration held with payment only. For more information on Guilford Sideliners and its events, contact Committee President Erica DeNuzzo at 203-214-9792 or guilfordsideliners1958@gmail.com.


Pam Johnson covers news for Branford and North Branford for Zip06. Email Pam at p.johnson@shorepublishing.com.

Reader Comments