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Fourth annual Pete Frates 3 Golf Classic a smashing success once again

IPSWICH — Any time a group of people gets together to celebrate the life of the late, great Pete Frates, you can expect an abundance of smiles, laughter and delightful trips down memory lane.

Such was the case at The Golf Club of Turner Hill on Monday as family and friends of the Frates family hit the links for the annual Pete Frates 3 Golf Classic.

Returning for its fourth straight year at the beautiful Ipswich golf haven, the tournament raises money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the same disease that Pete courageously battled for more than seven years before ultimately passing at age 34 in December 2019. Pete may be gone, but his legacy will undoubtedly live on forever — and that couldn’t have been more prominent during Monday’s event.

Upwards of 140 individuals came out in support of the Beverly native and St. John’s Prep and Boston College graduate, each one enjoying a spectacular round of golf before closing things out with dinner, awards and a silent auction.

“It’s the love for Pete,” said his mother, Nancy Frates. “We’ve been doing different events like this for almost 10 years now and we’re not surprised (by all the support), but our gratitude grows even bigger each time.

“Our hearts are permanently broken, but the renewal of his love is amazing,” added Nancy Frates. “You like to think that they come out to help with our mission — and they do — but they really come because they love Pete.”

What started as a gloomy, overcast and humid morning at the club eventually turned into a bright and sunny afternoon of golf. Thirty-six different foursomes teed off with hopes of bringing home the low score of the day, but in the end, it was one group that stood head and shoulders above the rest with a ridiculously low 55 (17-under par).

The winners? That would be John Frates (a second cousin of Pete’s), Alex Zhu, Brian Ma and Meiyi Yan.

“What a day we had. It was really overcast and terrible looking weather to start, and then all of a sudden it was beautiful. That was all Pete,” said Pete’s father, John Frates. It was his cousin’s son who shares his name that helped take home the title.

“We had so much fun; it was just great. And what a course! They really accommodated us beautifully, and we’re thrilled to be here in this great facility once again.”

In the past, Barstool Sports had been the title sponsor of the tournament. This year, however, ASICS took on that role with organizations such as the Cummings Foundation, Curaleaf, Instinet, The Beacon Group and Suffolk Cares chipping in as well.

To say it was a swimming success may be an understatement, and Pete’s brother Andrew, who has been the lead organizer of the event each year, couldn’t have been happier.

“I’ve worked (at ASICS) for almost three years now and they were involved last year, too,” said Andrew. “Barstool (last year’s lead sponsor) is so busy, everyone knows that, and there was an opening for the title sponsor and ASICS really stepped up and came to the plate. They gave every single golfer a pair of shoes and a shirt. Their logo is everywhere here and me being in the marketing department, it just makes me happy to see everything.”

While the golf certainly brought everyone together — and helped raise over $30,000 in the process — the event as a whole gave Nancy Frates the opportunity to share some exciting news about her family’s foundation in Pete’s name.

“This mission-driven foundation is actually out there helping other (ALS) patients with the struggle that we had, which was paying to keep Pete at home and paying out of pocket expenses,” explained Nancy. “We’ve given out 20 grants so far this year for an average of between $5,000-$10,000. So we’ve given out over $100,000, and it’s the thank you notes that keep us going. I guess I take them to heart so much because I could’ve written them when people were so generous to us.”

The Frates’ tireless work to support ALS and the families involved with the disease will continue to be a part of their everyday life. After four wildly successful events at Turner Hill, everyone can look forward to next year’s tournament, too, to continue to honor and remember such a special individual gone too soon.

It’s becoming somewhat of a tradition here on the North Shore, and shows no signs of slowing up.

“We have it on the last Monday in August every year now; it’s kind of becoming a staple,” said Andrew Frates. “We’ll never leave (Turner Hill) as long as they don’t kick us out, and we’re so happy to be with them. They treat us so well.”

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