REO Speedwagon guitarist Dave Amato plays Thursday night in Cooperstown as Bryan Hitt drums behind him.

High attendance and a concert by REO Speedwagon helped make an annual hospice fundraiser held Thursday a success, an organizer said.

The annual event, which draws sports figures such as ESPN's Mark May, an Oneonta native, is a benefit for Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care.

It consisted of the Walter Rich Memorial Celebrity Golf Classic at the Leatherstocking Country Club in Cooperstown and the concert at Brewery Ommegang.

About 700 people attended this year, ``and that's about as big as we want to get,'' said Huemac Garcia, hospice director of development. ``I think everyone who attended had a great time.''

Garcia said Friday that the event, which includes an auction, is the hospice's largest fundraiser and an important part of maintaining its services.

``We haven't tallied everything yet,'' Garcia said, ``but I can say we did very well. We're very grateful for the support we receive from the community, and it's fun every year.''

Though hospice didn't have final fundraising numbers, the evening event, including the concert and auction, was $185, which would be about $129,500 in purchased tickets. The Daily Star reported that the 2006 event, with performer Toto, brought in $124,000.

Garcia said the event is underwritten by NBT Bank and MVP Healthcare. The concert was excellent, he said, with many fans drawn to see REO Speedwagon, whose hits include ``I Don't Want to Lose You'' and ``Keep Pushin'.''

The golf event is named for Walter Rich, who for decades ran the New York Susquehanna & Western Railway and the Delaware Otsego Corporation. Rich, who died last year, started the event in memory of his mother, Doretta Rich of Franklin.

Garcia said Rich's wife, Karine, is involved in the fundraiser.

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