The 34th annual Ilio DiPaolo golf outing had about 90 minutes of rain, but not enough to dampen the warm feeling participants feel year after year. This is one golf tournament that has to do with tradition and family than just another Monday fund raiser in the summer.

The DiPaolo golf tourney raises money for People Inc, the DiPaolo Scholarship Fund and other charities on an annual rotation. For decades the gentle giant Ilio DiPaolo ran the Hamburg Rotary Club tournament and used his star power to bring in celebrities from the Sabres, Bills and members of the media.

After Ilio passed in 1995 the tournament became known as the Ilio DiPaolo tournament and proceeds went to the scholarship in his name and the other charities already being helped by the Rotary Club. The duties of running the event fell on sons Dennis and Mike, along with the help of many friends and family.

Now many of the men who have golfed over the years are bringing their sons and their sons are bringing their sons. The event truly connects generation after generation.

This year former network broadcaster and Bill alumni Paul Maguire was again on hand and he thought back to his many years with the DiPaolos. “I go back to the first years when world champion boxer Carmen Basilio would entertain us all with his jokes at dinner,” said Maguire. “Ilio was such a great man and there were so many years of coming together at his restaurant.”

Former Bill defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell was on hand again along with his wife and son TJ. Cottrell returns to Buffalo each year because the DiPaolo family has made him one of their own. “This is special,” said Cottrell. “You don’t find people like Dennis and Mike in the other cities I have lived. They make everyone feel a part of what they do and who they are.”

So far the golf outing has raised over 100,000 for People Inc and the Scholarship Fund thanks to the many participants and sponsors. Yet, those who attend and pay their way receive so much more from the experience.

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