Grand Tournament features golf, tennis, Mah Jongg

This year marks the 20th anniversary of two significant South Dade events.

I’m guessing that the first thing that comes to your mind is Hurricane Andrew, clearly an event that no one wants to see repeated.

The other is the Dave and Mary Alper JCC Grand Tournament that raises money for pre-school, after-school and summer camp scholarship programs and the seniors program. Although it started in 1992 with just golf, it has grown over the years. The 20th annual tournament, which includes golf, men’s and women’s tennis and Mah Jongg, is an event we look forward to every year.

This year, the golf tournament takes place on Thursday, May 10, 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. So be sure to register early if you don’t want to be left out.

The Men’s Tennis Tournament will be held Sunday, Apr. 22 and the Women’s Tennis Tournament will be on Monday, May 14. Both will be on the Alper JCC Tennis Courts. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m., the tournament begins at 9 a.m., and lunch and the awards ceremony are scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Each event includes breakfast, lunch, goody bag and prizes.

This is the first year that the golf tournament will be held at Melreese, which underwent a $3.9 million renovation 15 years ago. Prior to the reopening in Oct. 1997, Tiger Woods made his first professional south Florida appearance, hosting more than 3,500 fans while conducting a clinic and exhibition.

Since the reopening, the course has hosted many popular sports figures, including Miami Heat basketball stars Dan Majerle and Keith Askins, and also Livan Hernandez of the Florida Marlins. In addition LPGA stars Tracy Kerdyk, Christie Kerr, Patti Rizzo and Moira Dunn practice at the facilities. The course was redesigned by Charles Mahannah and is managed by Bunkers of Miami under the direction of Charles DeLucca.

The Mah Jongg competition will take place on Monday, May 14 at 12:30 p.m. at the J. Mah Jongg will also include lunch, raffle, and lots of goodies.

Both the Women’s Tennis Tournament and the Mah Jongg competition also feature a silent auction.

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.

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. L’Chaim, to Life!

All tournament events are open to the community; however advance registration is required. For more information, call at 305-271-9000, ext. 243.

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