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Playing for Charities for 30 Years

Charles River Center, Needham

In 1987, Joe Gillen and Don MacIntyre, active members of the Needham Exchange Club, had an idea to partner their love of golf with the charitable focus of the Club.  They decided to start a golf tournament, with proceeds to benefit local non-profits. Thirty years later, the tournament is still going strong, with over 100 players expected at this year’s event in May.

While the format of the day hasn’t changed much over the years (why change a good thing?), the Club has visited over 15 well-respected golf clubs, including the Charles River Country Club, Blue Hills, and Waverly Oaks--allowing the players, many of whom play year after year,  to experience different courses.  Anyone is welcome to join, and players enjoy a day of golf, good food, and camaraderie, with contests throughout the course to keep things lively.  Exchange Club volunteers spend months planning the event and staff it during the day.   

The funds raised have made a significant impact on local charities.  The Exchange Club has donated proceeds to the Tippett Home, the Needham Community Council, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the Charles River Center.  The Charles River Center has been the beneficiary for many years, and is now a partner for the Tournament.  In past years, the Charles River Center has used the proceeds to purchase a van, help with building expansions, and provide scholarships for camps.  Funds are raised through sponsorships, ticket sales, raffles and contests.

It’s quite remarkable that this club of just over 100 people holds four fundraisers each year, provides a large array of community services, and runs the much-loved and well respected Needham 4th of July celebration. 

The Tournament will be held at the Marlborough Country Club on Monday, May 22nd.  Tickets and sponsorships are available.  All are welcome.  For more information, visit the Exchange Club’s website at