Marianapolis Has a Champion with Las Vegas Clout  
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Ed Patenaude So I've Heard

The line out of Las Vegas says Charles E. Baron, president of Championship Management Events Inc., headquartered in that city, has shifted a couple of commitment gears.

Mr. Baron, with a home address at Webster Lake, has resigned as director of the Las Vegas Founders’ PGA Tour stop, according to Las Vegas Sun columnist Brian Hilderbrand. He wrote that Baron, who turned 62 in April, “will focus his energy on coaching and raising funds for a prep school he became involved with in Thompson, Conn. Baron sent both of his daughters (Stephanie and Stacy) to Marianapolis Preparatory School, and when he learned it was about to be closed and sold, he and some friends formed a foundation and raised the necessary money to keep the coed school open.”

“It was a great run,” Charlie Baron said, referring to his Las Vegas PGA tournament commitment. “I’m not retiring by any means.”

Championship Management Events Co. isn’t about to fold, he said. “I’m simply winding down a bit, and Marianapolis is my great passion.”

While emphasis on Mr. Baron’s Marianapolis connection might suggest that school management problems developed recently, this isn’t so, he said. Realignments happened six years ago, when the charitable foundation was organized to rescue the school. It has been a huge success, according to Mr. Baron, an officer along with a half-dozen others.

Mr. Baron’s Las Vegas business manages events for the PGA Tour, the Senior PGA Tour, collegiate and junior golf tournaments, and provides marketing assistance for Fortune 500 companies at sporting venues such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and at Augusta, Ga., for the Masters, according to a synopsis published last year when the University of Las Vegas honored Mr. Baron for his fundraising efforts.

There’s a Marianapolis component to Mr. Baron’s semi-retirement. The Founders Club of Las Vegas recognized Charlie with a significant contribution to the school. This and other gifts are being used to rehabilitate the library. New computers and furnishings will be installed in what Las Vegas donors have designated the Baron Family Room.

Besides Mr. Baron, the refurbished facility will honor his daughters, both graduates of the school. Stephanie Baron works for the Women’s Basketball College Coaches Association as special events director for the Final Four. Stacey Baron is a lawyer with a Boston-area law firm. The library will be dedicated in September.

The recent 80th Marianapolis graduation suggests the Thompson Hill school has staying power with a worldwide reach, says Mr. Baron. Among alumni at a class reunion was a resident of Hong Kong who traveled 10,000 miles to attend. If there’s a problem, it’s in the numbers, says Mr. Baron. Despite its many years, Marianapolis has about 2,500 graduates, and “that’s not a big alumni base.”

An effort to attract more students and support from the school’s home region of Central Massachusetts and Northeast Connecticut seems in the offing. Mr. Baron can identify area graduates by names and towns, and he has developed a presentation to interest prospective donors. Bringing a New England balance to the school’s international appeal is one of the things on Charlie Baron’s Marianapolis agenda.

Not only was state Sen. Richard T. Moore, D-Uxbridge, the only elected officer in the Webster Lodge of Elks Flag Day parade Sunday, he walked the route twice.

Mr. Moore parked his Chrysler with “Senate 8” registration tags and “Hillary” bumper stickers behind the Webster Town Hall. He ambled along Route 12 to Cody Street, step-off point for parade, where he joined a Veterans Council color guard; Elks members, including Eddie Papski and other early organizers in open convertibles; the Bartlett High School band and cheerleaders, other marchers, and a few antique cars.

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