July 18, 2024
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Daughters of Miriam Annual Golf Classic Sees Record Turnout

(Courtesy of Daughters of Miriam) The 40th Annual Daughters of Miriam Golf Classic hosted a record number of golfers who turned out to support this year’s tournament in memory of Golf Classic Co-Chairman David Kessler. Kessler, who passed away suddenly in May 2020, was remembered in a moving tribute that brought tears to the eyes of his family and friends.

The event, in support of Alzheimer’s and dementia care, was held at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey, for the second year in a row, and brought business and community leaders together for a friendly competition on a picture-perfect fall day. Although social distancing and other health and safety requirements affected some of the event formatting as compared to previous years, these regulations did not affect the success of the tournament or the mood of the golfers, some of whom called it an “exceptional” day as they completed their round of golf.

The fundraiser began with an elaborate brunch in the morning and then proceeded to an exciting shotgun tee off that began promptly at noon. The golf outing featured premium hole-in-one prizes such as cars, jewelry and cash awards as well as prizes for golf contests including low gross and low net scores and longest drives. Hole-in-one prizes were made possible thanks to the generosity of Frank’s Truck Center of Lyndhurst; Route 23 Auto Mall of Butler; and The Timepiece Collection of Englewood.

At the conclusion of the regulation round, a $500,000 shootout, sponsored by the Gutenstein Family Foundation, enabled eight players who were closest to the pin on the par-3 holes the opportunity to compete for half a million dollars from a distance of 165 yards. Although no players walked off with the $500,000 prize, Jonathan Kessler, son of our late golf Co-Chairman David Kessler, was closest to the pin and won a 55-inch smart TV and a $500 Pro Shop gift card. This was very poetic as Jonathan’s late father typically qualified for the shootout each year.

As the tournament concluded in the late afternoon, golfers moved on to the expansive outdoor tented terrace to enjoy cocktails and dinner, which featured emotional speeches and a tribute slideshow to David Kessler, who was a fixture at the Center’s golf tournaments from the very beginning, 40 years ago. The evening also featured a live auction that included items such as golf foursomes at exclusive clubs in New Jersey, vacation packages and other opportunities including tickets to the Macy’s 2021 Thanksgiving Day Parade. The event concluded with an exciting raffle drawing for the grand prize of a 2020 Ford Mustang as well as runner-up prizes such as large flat-screen smart TVs and gift cards.

The success of the event was in large part due to the efforts of the event’s co-chairpersons, who not only had to deal with the tragic loss of David Kessler, but also had to format the event with the health and safety of its participants in mind during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alex Fleysher of Verona, Andrew Kanter of Wayne, and Leslie Levine of Clifton all rose to the challenge. “Planning for this year’s event was already demanding in the face of the coronavirus, and when we lost David, it hit us especially hard,” said Committee Co-Chairperson Levine. “David’s family, knowing how much Daughters of Miriam Center and the golf tournament meant to David, stepped in to help make this event a huge success,” added Andrew Kanter, Golf Committee co-chairperson. “At the end of the day,” he said, “so many people, including our Golf Committee and volunteers, made an extraordinary effort to ensure we would have a fantastic event that raised money for an important cause.”

Volunteers helped to keep the event running smoothly and were expertly coordinated by Linda Fishman and Leslie Levine. Volunteers greeted the players; conducted temperature checks; handed out goody bags and gifts; registered participants; monitored the prize holes; and manned the live auctions. The committee responsible for coordinating the event was: Jeff Abrams of Newfoundland; Michael Birnberg of Watchung; Linda Fishman of Wayne; Jared Kanter of Wyckoff; Jonathan Kessler of New York City; Randi Kochman of Ridgewood; Scott Norwalk of Franklin Lakes; Jay Opper of Riverdale; Marc Rosenkrantz of Wayne; Avi Safer of Peconic, New York; Jeffrey Silvershein of Orlando, Florida; David Topalian of Fair Lawn; and Morris Yamner of Clifton.

Companies and individuals sponsoring the Classic included: Premier Flag Sponsors ($25,000)—The McCutchen Foundation; Shootout Sponsor ($12,000)—Gutenstein Family Foundation; Double Eagle Sponsors ($10,000)—A.L. Levine Family Foundation, Levco Shopping Centers, Sylvia and Avi Safer, Safer Textiles, Carole and Joel J. Steiger, Valley Bank; Eagle Sponsors ($7,500)—Cole Schotz, P.C., Feldman Brothers Electrical and Lighting Supply, Francis Family and Planned Companies, Leslie, Peter and Rachel Levine, Donna & Mark Rosen; Gold Tee Sponsors ($5,000)— Guardian Service Industries, Jay Horwitz, Partners Pharmacy, Schwartz Foundation—David A. Schwartz; Birdie Sponsors ($2,500)—Integra Housing Group and The Joined Management Team, Anne and Andrew Kanter, Jane and Robert Kantor, Nursing Network, Dr. Dely Go, Stephen A. Ploscowe and Ken Rosenberg, Fox Rothschild, Twin Med Medical Services; and Meal Sponsors ($1,500)—Randi and Tedd Kochman, OptumCare, The Preferred Client Group, Zimmet Healthcare Services Group.

Daughters of Miriam Center/The Gallen Institute is a CMS-rated five-star, state-of-the-art long-term care and subacute facility providing broad-based services to seniors. Emphasizing a continuum of care focus, Center divisions include a skilled nursing facility, a subacute care wing, a memory care pavilion, a rehabilitation program, hospice care, a respite program, and senior housing with supportive services.

Founded in 1921, the Center is a nonprofit, non-sectarian organization licensed by the New Jersey Department of Health, accredited by The Joint Commission and serves as a university-affiliated teaching center.

The Center’s mission is to provide quality health-care services and housing for seniors in an environment that enhances and respects individualized traditions and lifestyles.

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