Cathi, the wife of Tom Keilty, PHH Arval’s Senior Vice President of Customer & Vehicle Services, passed away in May 2008 after battling an aggressive form of scleroderma for about a year. When Cathi’s husband Tom asked friends to make gifts to the Center in Cathi’s memory – we at the Center were truly humbled and overwhelmed by the outpouring of support. The number of cards, letters and gifts we received was indeed a testament to a woman so dearly loved and admired.
Just a few weeks later, Tom Keilty shared with Dr. Wigley his desire to do whatever he could to assist us with our mission to find a cure for this life-altering disease. Tom and a group of his friends and colleagues took that desire to help – and announced the first annual Tee It Up for Cathi Keilty charity golf tournament. We were equally honored that the net proceeds from this event would support our research efforts at the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center. Equally important, Tom wanted to also use this event to educate the public about this disease.
Monday, October 13, 2008 was a perfect fall day. Nearly 200 golfers prepared for a 12:30 pm shotgun start, followed by a dinner of nearly 300 at the Hunt Valley Golf Club in Baltimore County. The country club reported it to be the largest golf outing they’d ever hosted…and they had to rent additional golf carts for the day! Prior to and during dinner a silent auction of over 75 items was held, along with a live auction of another eight. Following the awards presentation Tom spoke a little about the Center and Dr. Wigley – then read a poem about him and Cathi, a beautiful tribute that was both moving and inspirational.
Tom then introduced Dr. Wigley, who spoke just as eloquently about how Cathi dealt with her disease, the work going on at the center, the brilliant young minds that are joining him in this fight, the collaboration across departments in search of a cure – as well as speaking to everyone there letting them know that by their participation in the day, they are part of that effort to find a cure. Dr. Wigley has a tremendous ability to instill his passion in those listening to him talk and that was certainly the case at the dinner.
During the “thank you’s”, the Master of Ceremonies made the announcement that going into that day, the tournament had raised over $125,000 to benefit the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center. We are very honored and pleased to announce that with the final figures now in, the first annual Tee It Up for Cathi Keilty raised over $140,000 and has formed the corpus for the creation of the “Catherine A. Keilty Memorial Fund for Scleroderma Research” at Johns Hopkins.
We would like to acknowledge the many friends of Tom and Cathi Keilty who made this event such a success. Special thanks to PHH President, Mr. George Kilroy and the extensive team of PHH employees who volunteered their time coordinating the planning and execution of a tremendously successful event.
UPDATE FOR 2012
The 5th Annual Tee it Up for Cathi Keilty Golf Tournament was held Monday, October 8th at the Hunt Valley Golf Club. In the five years of its existence, the tournament has raised well over $450,000 to support the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center. This year over 50 sponsors participated enjoying a wonderful day of golf and then the end of the day dinner-awards meeting. Tom Keilty thanked everyone for participating, spoke about the memory of his wife and the importance of the work being done at the research Center. He reminded us that the support of PHH, its president George Kilroy and the PHH staff members Janet Mank and Peggy Zukor, all made the event possible. Dr. Laura Hummers, specialist on the Johns Hopkins Faculty and co-Director of the Scleroderma Center spoke reviewing the goals of the Center and the current challenges of getting funding for novel research. Awards were given to the best golfers of the day with the help of Master of Ceremonies Frank Grossman. A silent auction included wonderful gifts and memorable items. The evening ended with a lively auction conducted by Ray Nichols, a professional auctioneer. This can only happen with wonderful friends like Tom Keilty, his family, friends and coworkers that put together this great event, allowing us the opportunity and freedom to do novel work. This support is crucial to our research initiatives. Doing both clinical and basic science, the Center is able to be a successful clinical care unit, research and major educational program by bringing together the brightest scientists and clinicians to work together here at Hopkins and around the world. Thank you for being a partner in this effort and understand that the dollars raised by your efforts has a major impact on our program, and the patients and trainees involved.
For more information about Cathi, the tournament, and how you can participate as a golfer, dinner guest, or sponsor, visit http://cathikeilty.com/.
Not to be outdone, Tom Keilty’s children have organized the annual “Ballin for a Cure” basketball tournament to also raise money to support the Cathi Keilty Fund for Scleroderma Research at Johns Hopkins. Over the last five years, through participation by sponsorship and player registrations, over $10,000 has been raised to support the Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center. http://www.ballinforacure.com/