“What a great day, I love golf,” said Anthony Iovine at the 2016 Wiegand Farm Golf Classic, sponsored by Lakeland Bank and Eastern Propane.
Anthony has never actually played in a golf tournament, or even hit a golf ball. Yet golf is Anthony’s favorite sport and a major part of his life.
Anthony lives at Alexander House, in Jefferson Township, N.J. Alexander House is part of the Department for Persons with Disabilities (DPD), a nonprofit organization that helps individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“For many golfers, Anthony is the highlight of our event,” said DPD Development Director Chris Brancato. Anthony runs the “Win a Watch “ Contest on a par-3 hole at DPD’s annual golf classic. Golfers pay $10 to hit a shot on the green. If they make it, they can choose a watch from Anthony.
“For me, this is the best part of the event, because I get to see Anthony smiling and interacting with the members of our foursome. It’s important for attendees of a charity event to see who their donations benefit and where the money goes. DPD does a great job of doing this at their Wiegand Farm Golf Classic,” said Bob Barbalaci, golf enthusiast and Wiegand Farm Golf Classic Committee Member.
The Wiegand Farm Golf Classic is DPD’s largest fundraiser of the year, netting over $100,000 in 2016 and attracting over 250 golfers. This event has grown steadily over the years increasing in participation and funds raised each of the past six years. This year, the Wiegand Farm Golf Classic is moving to Sussex County and Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg on Monday, June 26.
The event features a full day of golf on two courses followed by a banquet, awards ceremony and silent auction at the Ballroom at Grand Cascades Lodge. DPD will be honoring Monsignor John Hart, of Assumption Parish in Morristown; DPD Board Member John Butler and the New Jersey State Police in Sussex County at the award ceremony after golf.
“It is always a tough decision when moving a golf outing to a new venue, as this year we decided to move to Crystal Springs Resort,” said Scott Milliken, DPD Executive Director. Throughout the last several years, we held this event at two separate venues, Bowling Green Golf Club and Berkshire Valley Golf Course. Both venues did a great job in accommodating our expanding group, but we decided to move to a venue that would allow us to further expand in future years. Crystal Springs allows us to do so,” he added.
Throughout the spring and summer, there are multiple golf outings taking place throughout New Jersey on nearly every public and private course. Yet few of them have had the success of DPD’s Wiegand Farm Golf Classic.
“I think the leading factor that has caused event growth is our agency spirit, which is on full display at our golf outing. Relatively speaking, we are not a large charity and are thin administratively. We have had to rely on volunteers, committee members, and local businesses to help this event flourish. We consider our golf outing a yearlong endeavor rather than a one day event. We have worked hard at connecting to our event participants and making It a fun day for golfers and a worthwhile day for sponsor,” said Mr. Brancato.
The $150 entry fee covers a full day of golf at golfer’s choice of Crystal Springs or Wild Turkey Golf Course, green fees, golf cart, breakfast, bbq lunch, buffet dinner, three drinks and a one-hour open bar, cigars, prize opportunities and more. There are also a variety of ways for non-golfers to participate and support the cause.
To participate in the event and support Anthony and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout New Jersey, visit www.dpd.org/wiegand. Call DPD’s Development Office at 973-406-1104 with any questions.