The inaugural Philip Messina Memorial Golf Tournament brought some stars to town and raised $140,000 for brain cancer treatment and research at Huntington Hospital.
The event was organized by the family of the late Philip Messina of Northport, who died in February 2018 after battling one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer called a glioblastoma multiforme. He was 74.
The tournament, held at the Indian Hills Country Club on July 8, celebrated Messina’s life and also honored the neurosurgeon who treated him, Robert Kerr, MD, PhD, chief of neurosurgery at Huntington Hospital.
“We are extremely grateful to the Messina family for their kindness, generosity and devotion,” Kerr said. “We are constantly looking for new and more effective treatments that will help improve the quality of life for patients suffering with brain cancer. What is so often overlooked is how the whole family is affected when a family member has this devastating disease. The Messina family’s unwavering strength through this most trying time – their father’s diagnosis and treatment – is truly to be admired.”
Messina is the father of Marybeth Seus, musician Steven Messina and actor Chris Messina (The Mindy Project, Sharp Objects). They were joined at the fundraiser by more than 130 guests, including family, friends and colleagues. Actor Justin Long was the master of ceremonies.
“At our first event, our hope was to raise significant funds so that Dr. Kerr and his incredible team can continue their pioneering work in neurological surgery for the benefit of future generations,” said Seus. “We want our community to know about Dr. Kerr and the amazing care he gave to our father and the compassion he showed us during the most difficult and heartbreaking time in our lives. Dr. Kerr made a huge impact and left a mark in our hearts.”