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Raising Hope: The Joseph Coniglio Charity Golf Tournament


Lucia Coniglio’s family has been significantly impacted by autoimmune disease. She lives with an autoimmune disease causing a narrowing of the esophagus, and her sister lives with Crohn’s disease.

In October 2016, her father Joseph was diagnosed with a rare disorder called Protein-Losing Enteropathy (PLE) which dramatically changed his life. He was constantly losing weight, struggling with a compromised immune system, bed-ridden, experienced muscle atrophy and loss of muscle mass, and succumbed to permanent intubation before passing away just a few months later.

This loss was devastating to his whole family, and together they had many conversations about how to honor and preserve his memory. His passing served as a catalyst for Lucia to embark on a heartfelt journey dedicated to philanthropy, aimed at raising funds and awareness for a disease that currently lacks any cure or treatment options. She wanted to turn her grief into purpose, to honor her father, and to create connection and community with other rare disease patients and families.

Lucia thought about the things that her dad loved, and golf immediately stood out. Joseph, an avid golfer, excelled on the course, showcasing his skills through numerous tournament victories and remarkable hole-in-one achievements.

Creating a charity tournament felt like the perfect way to incorporate something her father loved deeply and came with a built-in network. Though rooted in loss, the Joseph Coniglio Memorial Charity Golf Tournament maintains that hope is created through the celebration of life. This tournament also provided Lucia a constructive outlet for her own grief by being able to honor someone she loved, provide a sense of comfort and connection to others who were also grieving, and to create a place to share memories and support among those who were mourning the same loss.

Joseph Coniglio“My dad would golf at any expense,” said Lucia. The location of the tournament turned out to be an easy decision: it was hosted at the course where her father had been a member, where Lucia not only grew up watching him play golf but also where she had learned how to play the game and shared many special moments with her father. The course holds such precious childhood and early adulthood memories and being able to share that with the tournament attendees has been so special.

The first Joseph Coniglio Memorial Charity Golf Tournament was hosted in 2017, the season after Joseph passed away, and it has become an annual event (pausing only in 2020 during the height of the pandemic). Through the annual tournament, Lucia has been able to foster a sense of community, allowing her father’s legacy and memory to live on. Lucia is further motivated by the idea that the tournament can help prevent others from experiencing the same loss. The funds raised help support research, advocacy, and support services – contributing to improved outcomes for others affected by autoimmune disease.

This year’s Joseph Coniglio Memorial Charity Golf Tournament, held May 7 at Stonebridge Country Club in Smithtown, New York, raised more than $3,500.

Lucia’s dedication to transforming personal tragedy into positive change not only honors her father’s memory but also creates hope for the millions of Americans living with autoimmune disease. “My family’s grief was the impetus for this heartfelt initiative. Driving change and nurturing hope for countless others helps us heal,” Lucia said.

Turn your own passion into purpose!

To help you every step of the way, from brainstorming an idea for a fundraiser, to setting up a web page to announce your fundraiser and collect donations, we’ve launched a new DIY Fundraising platform. We’ve made it easy for you to host your own fundraiser and raise awareness. Get started today!

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