Happy 10th anniversary — to me! It occurred to me this morning that I have been writing this column since 2003, and the very first installment was about the Dave and Mary Alper JCC’s Grand Tournament. This is 11th time I am writing about the tournament, now in its 21st year.
So much has happened in 10 years! It is comforting to realize that some things are still the same. I looked back at
the very first column and with amusement. The headline announced, “Popular tournament grander than ever.” Still true. It doesn’t seem fair. I’m a lot grayer. The tournament is a lot grander.
I wrote that the “tournament raises much needed dollars for scholarships which allow needy families to participate in the Center’s acclaimed pre-school, summer camp and youth sports programs.” Still true, except that the beneficiaries also include the seniors program. Appropriate that the theme of this year’s event is Play for the J.
The column continued, “Even if your game is not quite up to par, everyone’s a winner at the Grand Tournament with a steady stream of amazing door prizes, goodie bags, raffle prizes, delicious food and lots of fun.” Still true.
I mentioned “the great thing about the grand tournament is the fact that players of all levels can participate and have a grand time.” Still true. I also wrote “the grand tournament would not be possible without its enthusiastic volunteer chairpersons, generous sponsors and the J’s hardworking staff.” Still true, only the names have changed.
Golf chairs are Dr. Paul Fisher, Dr. Irving Lerner, Cynthia Fien Rabkin and Suzie Fisher. Tennis chairs are Paul Neumann for men’s and Sandy Teter, Jennifer Rogers and Barbara Berg for ladies. Ten years later, it is wonderful to see new faces step up to continue this wonderful tradition.
So what’s new? The golf and tennis tournament welcomes new sponsors: The Miami Heat Charitable Foundation and Lexus of Kendall.
This year, the Golf Tournament takes place on Thursday, Apr. 25, at the International Links/Melreese Country Club. It kicks off at 11 a.m. with check-in and a casual lunch; the shotgun start is at 12:30 p.m. and concludes with an awards reception and buffet supper at 5:30 pm.
Along the way, treats to tempt the most stringent dieter and games and contests including best ball, longest drive, longest putt and closest to the pin. The goody bag is always one of the highlights of the event. Register early if you don’t want to be left out.
The Men’s Tennis Tournament will be held Sunday, Apr. 7 and the Women’s Tennis Tournament will be on Monday, Apr. 22. Both will be at the Alper JCC Tennis Courts. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., the tournament starts at 9 a.m. and lunch and awards ceremony is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Each event includes breakfast, lunch, goody-bag and prizes.
The Alper JCC provides more than $250,000 in scholarships to more than 275 families with limited financial resources (regardless of race, religion or gender) for preschool, after school care, summer camp, special needs and senior adult activities. In these difficult times, scholarships are needed more than ever.
All tournament events are open to the community; however, advance registration is required.
For more information, call at 305-271- 9000, ext. 243.