Photo: Bill Frese, Frank Caragher (ARC of Union County), Heather Comstock and Linda Cancro Lucas (ARC of Essex County) and Frank O'Brien.

116 enthusiastic golfers took part in the 25th New Jersey State Golf Association Youth Foundation Pro-Am at prestigious Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster on Tuesday, July 16, and enjoyed playing the famed New Course, which will host the NJSGA Open Championship next Monday through Wednesday, July 22-24.

The Pro-Am is the primary fundraiser for the NJSGA Youth Foundation, this year raising over $70,000 through event entry fees and the sale of raffle tickets – which included a top prize of a two-night stay and two rounds of golf at the Streamsong Resort in Florida. Proceeds from the event are awarded as grants to deserving youth developmental and sports-related programs throughout the State of New Jersey.

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Each year, the NJSGA asks the host venue to designate a charity of their choice as the recipient of a Youth Foundation grant. This year, Trump National – Bedminster identified a very worthy recipient:  the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, a favored charity of the Trump Organization.

The mission of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of its founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family's ability to pay. The NJSGA was pleased to award a grant of $5,000.

At the evening reception, the Youth Foundation was pleased to present grants of $10,000 each to the ARC of Essex County and the ARC of Union County, the Foundation’s primary recipients for 2019.

“The Youth Foundation Pro-Am is an opportunity to bring together the local golf community to support a wonderful cause, the NJSGA Youth Foundation. Over the years, we’re proud to have provided financial assistance to deserving youth groups which has assisted them in conducting their programs at a level of excellence,” said Frank O’Brien, the foundation’s chairman.

 “We were extremely pleased the Trump Organization chose the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital as their designated charity. This is a hospital that does so much for children, enabling them to pursue a healthier life, and at no cost to their families,” O’Brien added.

The day was also highlighted by great golf and a field of top New Jersey PGA Professionals. Defending champion Marc Issler of the Toms River Golf Center, who won the 2018 Open Championship at Montclair Golf Club, participated in the Pro-Am with a team of three players from Provident Bank, one of the NJSGA’s corporate partners. A total of 29 teams which represented NJSGA clubs and courses, plus teams from other NJSGA partners – Donnelly Construction, McRae Capital Management, and NJM Insurance Group – all enjoyed golf on one of the top courses in the state.

In addition, NJSGA partners Lincoln Motor Company, NJM Insurance, the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, and Provident Bank all had on-course displays and donated prizes and giveaways.

“The Pro-Am is an event where we are delighted to demonstrate our commitment to the sport of golf and the youth in the state,” said Keith Buscio, Assistant Vice President at Provident Bank.

Grant Kneller, Marketing Specialist with NJM, also expressed his sentiments.  “The NJM Insurance Group is proud to support and NJSGA and its Youth Foundation. We are proud of the foundation's work, and w're excited to lend our support.”

The Youth Foundation Pro-Am is a four-player team event with Best-Ball-of-Four, net scoring, along with an individual Professionals’ competition. Teams were comprised of three amateurs and one professional.

The team competition was won by the team representing NJM Insurance, which shot 28-28-56. The team included PGA professional Nick Bova, the Director of Instruction at Hamilton Farm Golf Club, who shot 68, and amateurs David June, Sergio Del Rosso and Warren Tamaroff. Mike Meisenzahl of Plainfield Country Club claimed the Professionals’ prize, firing a four-under par 67.

The 2020 NJSGA Youth Foundation Pro-Am will be held in mid-July at Knickerbocker Country Club in Tenafly, in advance of the 100th NJSGA Open Championship.

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