Thinking about getting in some golf this weekend? How about playing a round that honors a young Stow man who died serving his country – and that helps raise funds for the charitable Cpl. Joseph A. Tomci Foundation?
The foundation is hosting its 2nd Annual Memorial Golf Outing at this Saturday, and there are still openings for about 20 individual golfers or five foursomes. There are already more than 120 golfers signed up.
Cost is $100 per golfer, which includes a continental breakfast, 18 holes and a cart, beverages on the course, range privileges, lunch at the turn, dinner, prizes and awards, a raffle and silent auction.
Registration and breakfast begin at 9 a.m., followed by a shotgun start at 10 a.m. Those who wish to attend only the 4 p.m. dinner can do so for $25 per person.
To participate, send an email to email@example.com or call 234-380-6624.
Jason Tomci, foundation president, said his only brother “was full of life. He was a ball of energy and fire and you simply could not dislike him. He still brings people together today through these golf outings and other events. We’ll be raising our glasses to him on Saturday.”
Cpl. Joseph Tomci – known as “JoeTom” by his friends – graduated from in June 2003, according to the foundation website. Three months later he went to U.S. Marine Corps boot camp in Parris Island, SC, then honorably served a tour in Haiti and two tours in Iraq.
He was killed at age 21 during his second Operation Iraqi Freedom tour on Aug. 2, 2006.
Jason Tomci said his younger brother “died while conducting combat operations in Ramadi in the Al Anbar province in Iraq. He was set to come back in from a pretty dangerous patrol. A few days before (his death), we got a phone call from him because all of them were encouraged to make calls because of how dangerous it was.”
“About two miles from base, they were crossing a highway at night on foot. In the median … there was an IED planted. We don’t know if it was remotely detonated or triggered somehow,” he explained. The blast killed Joe Tomci and severely injured another Marine.
“Five years later, it’s still a very strong memory for us. Not only for me and other family members, but also for friends and the organization,” Jason said. “The wounds are still fresh. It never gets any easier. For those doing this [golf outing], Joe, even in death, brings us all closer together. It’s bittersweet in that way.”
The Cpl. Joseph A. Tomci Memorial Foundation was established in 2006 by family and friends “to show the same profound service that Joe exemplified in his life in all that we embody. Our focus is on helping military members and families that are in need,” the website states.
The foundation’s first fundraiser revolved around a ceremony held in June 2010 at celebrating U.S. Congress’ designation of the as the Corporal Joseph A. Tomci Post Office.
The post office initiative was started by Ward 1 Councilman Matt Riehl, who serves on the foundation’s Board of Directors with Jason Tomci, Nick Marazza, Trent Skinner, Brian McCullough, Stacey Naylor, John Volchko, Doug Popek and Mike Rasor.
The foundation’s first golf outing last summer was its second fundraiser. Since then, Jason said, the foundation has completed several charitable acts.
Last Christmas, the foundation teamed up with Kirlin's Hallmark at Chapel Hill Mall to ship 20 recordable “The Night before Christmas” books to troops overseas. Troops recorded themselves reading the story, then shipped the books back to their children so that they could hear their parent’s voice during the holiday season. Jason said the foundation plans to participate in the project again this year.
This spring, the foundation made a donation of $750 to sponsor five children of active military families to attend Camp CHOF in Dalton, OH, this summer. The foundation has provided financial support to the Wounded Warriors Project and has funded several USO Care Package deliveries.
Another project played out close to home when the foundation learned about a young, cash-strapped Stow-area wife who wanted to travel to Camp LeJeune, NC, with her child to greet her husband as he returned from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
“(The foundation) gave her prepaid Visa cards to use for food and gas, and sent them on their way,” Jason said. “It was a really cool thing. She was so ecstatic. Having that personal connection with people and making an impact makes us want to keep working personally with families.”