SOUTHINGTON — The JoeAbate Charitable Foundation will support career readiness programs and the families of people with congenital heart conditions at their first Charity Miniature Golf Classic.
The fundraising event will take place on July 11 from 3 to 7 p.m. at the miniature golf course at 2060 West Street. -high school career plans.
The JoeAbate Charitable Foundation was founded in March 2021 following the death of Joe Abate, of New Haven, in December 2020 due to cardiorespiratory arrest due to a ventricular septal defect he was born with. Abate was 37 years old. He left behind his wife Meghan and five-month-old daughter Vienna.
Steve Curran, Vice Chairman of the Board of JoeAbate Charitable Foundation, Inc., said Abate’s friends and family wanted to honor his life by establishing the Foundation. Through the Family Resource Fund, they provide financial assistance to families of people with congenital heart defects.
“There are 40,000 people born with congenital heart defects every year,” Curran said. “Their families often have to give up their jobs or take time off, spending many hours in intensive care units. Another 23% of them develop full-blown PTSD due to stress. We wanted to do what we could to help these We provide them with financial assistance in the form of parking passes and comfort bags with blankets, puzzles, snacks or whatever else they might need.”
Curran said the career readiness program, “Igniting Talent,” will be coming to high schools in Southington and East Haven starting this summer. It is currently offered in North Branford and West Haven.
“Joe felt very passionately that there wasn’t enough of an effort for students who weren’t going to college,” Curran said. “He couldn’t afford to go to college and he wanted to create pathways for people like him.”
Curran said the Igniting Talent program is offered to students who are unsure of a career path and not headed to college. She offers them three “micro-internships” of a few weeks each.
“We ask participating companies to provide hands-on opportunities for participants,” he said. “We recently had a student from North Branford who had no idea what he wanted to do to try internships in photography, car repair and web design. They found they really liked design This program is not only good for helping students find out what they might want to do, but also what they don’t want to do, which can be just as helpful.”
Joe Abate’s wife, Meghan, who is president and founder of the JoeAbate Charitable Foundation, is also an English teacher in West Haven. Curran added that she is keen to support these opportunities for students.
Additionally, Curran said Joe Abate also really enjoyed going out to play mini-golf and bowling. That’s why, he said, the Mini Golf Classic was chosen to be the Foundation’s charity fundraiser.
“We hope this will be a fun way to introduce our Foundation to the community,” he said.
Two young adults from the Congenital Heart Community will be competing in the Charity Miniature Golf Classic this year, along with a student from the School Readiness Program. Professional mini golfer Pat Sheridan will also play the course and post his score as a challenge for other players to beat.
The big winner will receive a personalized orange jacket with “The Classic” patch. The foundation will also choose the “duffer of the day”.
For more information about the JoeAbate Charitable Foundation, or to register as a participant or sponsor for the Mini Golf Tournament, visit joeabatefoundation.org.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]