September 5th was the perfect day to tee-up for this year’s 24th Annual Charity Golf Tournament to benefit the Mary Parkes Center for Asthma, Allergy and Pulmonary Care.  It wasn’t too hot, there was a blend of sun and overcast, and more than 300 golfers experienced steady play amongst great company on the course at Victor Hills.

The tournament raised a record-setting $259,463 to support the Mary Parkes Asthma Center, an affiliation of the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Planning and executing a tournament of this size takes a lot of coordinated effort. Each year, a committee of twenty people spend months in advance planning the event, and another twenty volunteers to help coordinate the day’s activities, which include a silent and Chinese auction, food and drink accommodations, and tending to various activities on two 18-hole courses.

Mary Parkes is far more than the namesake of the Asthma Center; she is a daily inspiration for the center’s patients and caretakers. Though Mary suffered for many years with severe asthma, she was first and foremost a nurse. As a critical care nurse at a local Rochester hospital, Mary was known for her unfailing optimism and perseverance. Mary understood the challenges of being a patient as she was hospitalized more than 50 times for her severe asthma. As a result, she carried a special understanding with her to every patient’s bedside.

After a long struggle with the disease, Mary died at age 32 on April 2, 1991.

Soon after Mary’s passing, her parents, Walter and Carmina Parkes, siblings, family, friends, and physicians who cared for her, started a support group for individuals and their families struggling with asthma. This led to the building of the first Asthma Center in the area in Mary’s memory as well as providing a Center of Excellence to those who need specialized asthma care.

The Junior Builders Exchange chose to support the center after learning about Mary’s story and the commitment of those who helped create the center. Working closely with the Parkes family and OCE, the JBX has seen the tournament grow from raising $4,000 in its first year to now more than $259,000 in 2019.

Funds raised allow the Asthma Center to further its ongoing initiatives, technological advancements and research efforts while continuing to build upon and expand its excellence in patient and family care.

On behalf of the entire Parkes Family, our sincere appreciation and thanks for your continued dedication, commitment, support and involvement this year and in past years! ~ Susan Parkes-McNally

The Junior Builders Exchange (JBX) prepares the next generation of construction leaders through relationship and team building with like-minded up and coming industry leaders. JBX members share problems, develop solutions, and work collaboratively through educational and social programs that cultivate their natural talents and leadership potential.