By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – The first Friends of Jay Dion Memorial Classic golf tournament will be held Thursday, May 25, at Juniper Hill Golf Course in Northborough.
Longtime Northborough resident Jay Dion passed away in June 2016 at the age of 52 after just 11 weeks of battling NUT Midline Carcinoma, a very rare and aggressive cancer. Only 20-30 cases of this cancer are reported each year and there is no cure. He left behind his wife Gayle of 22 years and two children Logan and Tyler.
Kerry Dion, Jay’s brother, is the event chair of the tournament and is hoping to fill up two, 18-hole golf courses in an effort to raise funds to donate to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute’s Jimmy Fund, so research for Nut Midline Carcinoma treatments can be continued. A scholarship trust will also be formed with a portion of the funds raised.
Kerry said that his brother had a positive impact on everyone he met and the goal of the event is to have an impact as big as Jay’s personality.
“If you liked him, you loved him,” said Kerry of his brother. “He was many things to many people. He inspired co-workers, family and friends – always with a joke and challenge.”
It was Jay’s passion to help others that inspired Kerry and close friends to organize the golf tournament.
Jay, the oldest of five siblings, assumed a father role at a young age after his parents were divorced and his mother worked three jobs to make ends meet.
“He was always a hard worker,” said Kerry. “There is no question; he had a lot of responsibility at an early age and he was good at it. Jay worked hard to get to where he was.”
That responsible leader and mentor role continued with roommates at college, co-workers, and when he became a father.
Kerry described Jay as brilliant during the eulogy he gave at the funeral services. Jay was an engineer and began his career in the medical device research field. For the past 11 years, he was the director of research and development and new product development at Boston Scientific.
The scholarship trust Kerry hopes to establish will benefit an Algonquin Regional High School senior heading to college who has suffered hardships growing up or the loss of a parent, and who might not be able to attend college without financial assistance.
Kerry also described Jay as someone who lived life to the fullest.
“Jay was the socialite, always out and about and the life of the party,” he said. “He had a great sense of humor and was well liked everywhere he went.”
Jay enjoyed playing golf and the tournament date of May 25 has significance.
“Jay’s birthday is May 16, so we wanted the tournament as close to his birthday as possible,” said Kerry. “It’s bigger than a golf tournament. It’s a legacy.”
The registration fee is $150 per golfer, which includes green fees, cart, box lunch and a sit-down dinner. Registration is at 7:30 a.m. with a shotgun tee-off at 9 a.m. Dinner will begin around 4 p.m. Anyone who is unable to participate in the golf portion of the day, they can attend dinner only for $50.
Event information can be found at www.jaydionclassic.com. There are also a variety of sponsorship opportunities available. Deadline for sponsorships is Sunday, April 30, and questions can be directed to [email protected].
In addition, anyone may make a tax-deductible donation online.
“Our goal is to raise as much money as possible for research,” said Kerry. “There is no cure for this form of cancer.”