History

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The Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open had its humble beginnings in 2009 as a small gathering of Buden family members and friends. The Buden name and New Britain-area community are synonymous, with a long line of family members having emigrated to the city and region from the old country, worked and raised families there - including along Broad Street, New Britain, aka "Little Poland" - and served our nation. Soon the event grew to incorporate a veterans charity component with significant ties to the Hardware City.

2015

The 2015 "GK" proved that the sky is the limit when it comes to this special, growing event. Following the first-ever "sold-out" event in 2014 with 147 players, accommodations had to be made for the continued, growing demand for what had become Connecticut's most popular - and arguably largest - veterans charity golf event. With help from our friends at Tunxis Plantation, another "nine" was added to the tournament allowing even more players to join the fun. The end result was another record field of 189 golfers, who not only enjoyed their day on the course, but got to honor living legends at the post-golf dinner. In the 70th anniversary year of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima, the GK honored three Iwo survivors from New Britain, Stan Dabrowski, Joe Roman and Ray Greene, who sadly passed away only a few short months before the event. DAVF Chapter 8 commissioned a painting, "Uncommmon Valor," by New Britain artist Jerzy Michalski, which was unveiled at the tournament and later hung at New Britain's City Hall. where it is displayed today. With the event raising a record $21,500, the GK's five-year total stands at more than $62,000 raised for veterans causes.

Top Group:

-17: Chris Brinkman, Ed Gorcenski, Mike Byrne, John Rosenthal 

Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

+8: Dick Smith, George Jailonowski, Dean Buden, Richie Daigle

Longest Drive (Men/White):

Joe Stanton

Longest Drive (Women/White):
 
Pat Neville
Longest Drive (Men/Green):

Matt Guerette
Longest Drive (Women/Green):

Andrea Wasley

Closest to the Pin (White):

Mike Byrne

Closest to the Pin (Green):

Ted Rogala 
2014

The first year of a spanking new, three-year Presenting Sponsorship Agreement with Farmington Bank helps take the “GK” further than it has ever been. For the first-time ever, the field is sold out: 147 players enjoy a terrific day at a new event venue, Tunxis Plantation in Farmington. Farmington Bank’s commitment to the event and Connecticut veterans inspires others to join the cause, including another new Platinum Sponsor, The Starlight Program at Stonington Institute, and new Gold Sponsor The Petit Family Foundation. Rounding out the largest sponsors are AT&T and The Tomasso Group. The 2014 honoree is Bristol native and Pearl Harbor survivor Ed Riccio, Jr., who is warmly welcomed and enthusiastically applauded by a post-golf dinner crowd of 200. Net proceeds for the 2014 event total $16,500, far outdistancing the previous high of $10,000 and placing the event in position to top the $20,000 mark in short order. Major beneficiaries are again House of Heroes Connecticut, Fisher House Connecticut and DAV Chapter 8, while additional, smaller donations are made to the Marine Corps Family Foundation’s Operation Santa, the VA’s Victory Gardens veterans housing project, the Iwo Jima Memorial Historical Foundation and VFW Post 511. In the past four years, the Golden Kielbasa Veterans Open has raised more than $40,000 for Connecticut vets.

Top Group:

-11: Tim Stewart, Matt Taricani, Bryan Anderson, Stan Szczepanik (by tiebreaker) 

Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

+7: Dick Smith, George Jailonowski, Dean Buden, Richie Daigle

Longest Drive (Men):

Sam DiPhilippo

Longest Drive (Women):
 
Lee Sirotnak

Closest to the Pin:

Darrell Parker

2013

The Golden Kielbasa continues to grow and play a major role in the lives of area veterans and Farmington Bank continues on as Presenting Sponsor. Some 120 golfers and upwards of 200 people at our post-golf barbeque turn out in force to raise dollars for Central Connecticut veterans and to honor Tuskegee Airman and New Britain resident Connie Nappier, Jr. The $10,000 threshold is again reached, bringing the GK's total net for vets over the last three years to $25,000. The 2013 event featured a new host (the DAV, Hardware City Chapter 8), a new venue (Stanley Golf Course in New Britain), and a new, expanded post-golf picnic facility (Polish Falcons Nest #88 Pavilion and Picnic Grounds on Farmington Avenue in New Britain). AT&T again returned as a Platinum Sponsor, and was joined by newcomer Stanley Black & Decker. The GK would also not be where it is today without the help and support of so many from Day 1, and we'd like to offer our thanks to the Northwestern Veterans, T.G.M. Memorial Post in New Britain, our host in 2011 and 2012, and the fine folks at Timberlin Golf Club and Par for the Course Restaurant in Berlin for their support and hospitality, also in 2011 and 2012.

Top Group:

-9: Bill Aniskovich, Sr., Bill Aniskovich, Jr., Chris Aniskovich, Kevin Aniskovich (tiebreaker)

Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

DNF: Joe Wilchinski, Dennis Blowers, Ryan Kelly, Johnny Ross

Longest Drive:

Matt Taricani

Closest to the Pin:

Tim Labrie

2012

In its fourth year, the Golden Kielbasa vaults into the stratosphere, becoming the largest veterans charity golf event in Central Connecticut. Major sponsors including Presenting Sponsor Farmington Bank, Platinum Sponsor AT&T, Gold Sponsors The Hospital of Central Connecticut, Okay Industries and Rexel USA and many more come on board to give the event some major corporate mojo. The honored veteran for the 2012 event is New Britain Marine Manny Jimenez, who was severely injured in Afghanistan in 2010. The number of golfers leaps from 80 to 109, and the dollars for veterans pour in. Tournament Director Dennis Buden is a guest on the Brad Davis radio show on WDRC, and veterans far and wide help support the event. Thousands of dollars are raised for the Hardware City Chapter of the DAV, Purple Heart Homes and for American flags in Fairview Cemetery.

Top Group:

Tim Stewart, Kevin Stewart, Bryan Anderson, Evan Baker

Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

Joe Wilchinski, Dennis Blowers, Ryan Kelly

Longest Drive:

Nick Pericello

Closest to the Pin:

Dennis Brown 

2011


The Golden Kielbasa enters new territory, with a New Britain-area focus. A new site (Timberlin Golf Club), a field of 80 players, corporate and community sponsors, website, publicity and more turn the event into a major fundraiser for veterans causes. The Northwestern Veterans, T.G.M. Memorial Post - last year's beneficiary - becomes the host of the event as a community service. The event raises $4,000 for two causes - the Hardware City Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, and the placement of American flags in the Veterans Section of New Britain's Fairview Cemetery on Veterans and Memorial Days. A post-golf barbeque at the VFW Post 511 in New Britain attracts upwards of 150 people. The event features ceremonies honoring five New Britain members of the Greatest Generation - Chet Giorgetti, Gene Leganza, Leo Piccoli, Andy Symecko and Al Wojtera - who take part in a ceremonial tee off on the first tee and, later, receive keys to the City from Mayor Timothy Stewart. Major sponsors include Schaller Auto World, Ericson, Scalise & Mangan, Guida's Dairy, Dattco Bus Company, Sir Speedy Printing, Sign Pro, RSL Fiber Systems, the VFW Post 511 Mens Auxiliary, the Oaks Club and Dr. William Petit.

 

Top Group: 


Mayor Tim Stewart, Matt Taricani, Dave LeClerc, Angelo DiMatteo


Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

 

Joe Wilchinski, Dennis Blowers, Jon Giordano, Nick Nardi

 

Longest Drive:

 

Steve Morin

 

Closest to the Pin:

 

Steve Frazier

2010

 

The Golden Kielbasa Invitational expands significantly. Nine groups and 36 players enjoy golf at Black Ledge Country Club in Hebron, with breakfast, gift bags, awards and a banquet feast at the home of Dennis & Charlene Buden in Manchester. More extended Buden family members join in for this event, which is quickly becoming a Buden family reunion opportunity. A huge raffle wraps up the day, and the veterans-oriented charity theme of the event begins with a modest $200 donation to the Northwestern Veterans, T.G.M. Memorial Post in New Britain. The stage is set for a much larger event in 2011 with a broader veterans charity focus.

 

Top Group:

 

Craig Manzi, Jeff Anderson, John "J.J." Doherty, Matt Gallagher

 

Bringing up the Rear (winners of the "Golden Kielbasa"):

 

Joe Wilchinski, Dennis Blowers, Ryan Kelly, Jon Giordano   

2009

 

The first "Golden Kielbasa Invitational" October 4, 2009 is a small, simple Buden family/friends gathering. Eight players, golf at Black Ledge Country Club in Hebron and awards afterward in the clubhouse. Each player receives a gift bag and t-shirt with the original golden kielbasa logo on the back and the phrase "It's All Polish to Me" emblazoned on the front. It is determined that for this event, the "winner" will be the player with the worst score, who will earn what will become the fabled "Golden Kielbasa" - a frozen ring of homemade Buden-style kielbasa. The "winner" must keep the kielbasa "on ice" for one year for presentation to the next year's winner. Winner of the first Golden Kielbasa? Dan Sweeney. No charity component; group determines to make the next year's event bigger and better.