The late Barbara Bush reads to children, their families and friends in 2007 at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center. Press Herald file photo

Each event on the Korn Ferry Tour – the developmental arm of the PGA Tour – is required to raise money for a charitable cause.

And when the Live and Work in Maine Open was established in 2019, with a five-year contract to play at the Falmouth Country Club, it was an easy choice for organizers.

The professional golf tournament has partnered with the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Portland and has committed to raise at least $100,000 each year.

“This is a passion point for us and our sponsors,” said Brian Corcoran, the CEO of Shamrock Sports and Entertainment and pro bono executive director of the tournament. “I think we will meet this goal and exceed it every year.”

The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital at Maine Medical Center provides not only well-care visits for children but also specialized treatment for complex illnesses and injuries. It also involves parents and other family members in a child’s care plan.

With one of the tournament sponsors being MaineHealth – the parent company of Maine Medical Center and, thus, the children’s hospital – it seemed like a natural selection. But the choice also may have been driven by a personal relationship.

Deane Beman, a one-time PGA Tour commissioner who is also credited with establishing the Korn Ferry Tour, was a personal friend of the late President George H. W. Bush, whose wife Barbara’s name graces the children’s hospital. Beman will be at the tournament this week.

“Deane, and a lot of other key stakeholders, had a passion for the (Bush) family and the cause that is the Barbara Bush Hospital,” said Corcoran. “And right now the need is bigger than ever for kids’ care and, especially, for all the families.”

Hospital officials say the donations will further what they can do.

“This funding will assist us with meeting the needs of children, who are among Maine’s most vulnerable citizens,” said Dr. Mary Ottolini, the Chair of Pediatrics at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. “The work of The Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital extends beyond our walls at Maine Medical Center. Our specialists work hand in hand with rural community-based pediatricians and family medicine to meet our mission of bringing the highest quality of care for all babies and children close to home.

“The generosity of Live and Work In Maine will allow us to advance our mission with new programs such as those using simulation to give critical access rural hospitals practice in caring for high-risk newborns, and a complex care program to ensure children with chronic diseases get the coordinated care they need to thrive wherever they live in the state.”

Corcoran said the funds primarily will come from ticket sales. General admission tickets cost $20 a day or $50 for a tournament pass. But with the crowd size limited to about 2,500 a day, Corcoran is looking to raise funds elsewhere.

One way is through buying a face mask that was designed by two former patients at Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. There are two styles – one designed by the brother, the other by  his sister – at a cost of $10 each. They can be purchased on the tournament’s website: themaineopen.com.

“Those two truly went beyond in paying it forward,” said Corcoran.


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