AUGUSTA, NJ - The United Way of Northern New Jersey celebrated its 10th annual Chili Open Golf Classic at the Sussex County Fairgrounds on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Red was the theme for the event with decorated table covers and balloons in the conservatory building of the fairgrounds. It was also the color of choice worn by most of the United Way staff members and volunteers who dedicated their time to participate in this outstanding event.
The event kicked off at 9 a.m. with a breakfast, and bagpipers played before the teams made their way on to the golf course.
Team members wore layers to keep themselves warm for the cold January weather, and used orange golf balls to see in the snow.
Cathy Kut, a volunteer for United Way said, “It is a lot of work setting up for an event like this."
“To prepare for the event the first thing we do is a group of United Way Board Members and volunteers go to the fair grounds and dig the holes for the course in the Fall before the ground freezes,” said Sean Hyland, a Resource Development Associate for United Way. “Then we get door prizes, tee signs and sponsorships from local companies. The day before the event, volunteers come to the fairgrounds and set up the course.”
“Sean [Hyland] did a really great job preparing the event,” reflected Kut.
“We could not do this without all of the volunteer support we get,” said Hyland. “The Vernon Rotary Club did the breakfast this year, Branchville Rotary did lunch, Newton Rotary ran the bar, and Wallkill Rotary provided free photos of the golfers.”
Food was set up buffet style and donated from the following companies: A G Pizza & Restaurant, American Legion Post 157, Art Delmonico, Andre’s Restaurant & Wine Boutique, Arthur & Friends, Bentley Assisted Family Living, Blue Ribbon on Culver Lake, Casa Bellsima, Chatterbox Drive-In, Condit Catering LLC, Costco, Dale’s Market, Dominick’s Pizza, Double Diner, Fratelli’s Italian Family Restaurant, Hampton Diner, Hayek’s Market, Holland American Bakery, Jumboland, Krave Café & Caterers, Lafayette House, Lou Tomasso, O’Reilly’s Pub & Grill, Papa-Roni’s Pizza & Restaurant, Pepsi, Pezzo Pizza, Riviera Maya, Selective Insurance, Sodexo & Chris Miola, Sheridan’s Restaurant & Tavern, Trinity Lounge, Upper Sports Deck Restaurant, Victoria Diner, Wal-Mart of Franklin, Walpack Inn, Wearhouse Clearance Center, Weis Markets of Franklin and Newton, and Yetters Diner.
The food consisted of numerous choices such as barbeque beef, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, chicken wings, and last but not least, chili.
Guests could get chicken, beef or even vegetable chili.
Several guests also raved over the root vegetable bisque served by Krave Café & Caterers saying how “great” it was.
Afternoon music was performed by Frank & Glenn who covered bands like Elton John and Simon & Garfunkel.
Glenn Lewis of the band is United Way Board Member, and also works for the Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. They both have performed at the fundraiser for the past 10 years.
“The first time I came here, I couldn’t believe how happy every one was,” said Jan Pasculli, volunteer for United Way.
The Alternative Press also learned something new from Elizabeth Morgan, a volunteer for United Way..
“Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden,” said Morgan. “That is where the word ‘golf’ derived from.”
A 50/50 and raffles were set up along the back side of the conservatory building with gifts such as: Two daily guest passes to Minerals Resort and Spa at Crystal Springs, $50 gift certificate to Ultima Hair Design & Spa, one free loaf of bread per month for one year from Panera Bread, brunch for two at Perona Farms, two anytime passes to Mountain Creek, three month membership to the Sparta Athletic Club, United Way basket of cheer including hard alcohol and chips, two tickets to see "Wicked" on Broadway sponsored by Clear Channel, a three month membership to the YMCA of Sussex County and a weekday foursome with lunch at The Mohawk House.
At 1:30 p.m., Kut made an announcement to all of the guests.
“Our first chili event was the brain of Barbara Miller,” said Kut as all the crowd cheered. “Over the course of nine years it has reached a course of 36 holes and has been played in all sorts of weather such as ice, sleet, rain, 18 inches of snow and so warm you all had to wear t-shirts. We have a committee that works really hard as well as our volunteers.”
The 2012-2013 donations to United Way of Northern New Jersey included the following: American Legion Auxiliary - Girl’s State Program, Blue Ridge Rescue Squad, Branchville Borough - Flower Boxes, Branchville Fire Department, Camp Merry Heart - District 7470, Center for Prevention and Counseling, DASI, Family Promise of Sussex County, Frankford Township Fire Department, Karen Ann Quinlan, Lafayette Township Rescue, Literacy Volunteers of America, Project Self Sufficiency, Sandyston Fire Department, SCARC Guardianship Services, Tri-State Actors, High Point Regional High School - Project Graduation and Scholarships, Kittatinny Regional High School - Project Graduation and Scholarships, Rotary International Foundation - Paul Harris Fellow and End Polio Now, Rotary Youth Exchange - District 7470, Rotary Group Exchange, Rotary Youth - RYLA, Rotary District 7470, Third Grade Dictionary Project, Sussex County Community College - Roteract, Student Scholarships, Sussex County Technical School - Project Graduation and Scholarships.
The supports for the 2013 United Way Chili Open Golf Classic are the following: Sussex County Rotary Clubs, Ames Rubber, Century Link, Clear Channel Communities, Coastal Financial, Eastern Propane, Intercar Mercedes, Lakeland Bank, The New Jersey Herald, New Jersey State Fair, PSE&G, Selective Insurance, and Sussex Bank.
The winning foursome for golf: Chris Mortensen, Paul Mortensen, Don Beatty and Ed Lacoture.
United Way supports programs in Sussex County that improve peoples income, education and health.
Follow The Alternative Press for Sussex County News, as well as The Alternative Press of Sussex County's Facebook Page, for news, and other information.