Inaugural golf outing tees off to resounding success

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NEWARK, NJ — Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss attended the John Sharpe James South Ward Civic Association inaugural golf outing along with Newark corporate and civic luminaries at the Weequahic Golf Course in Newark on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

In an event that gathered the “who’s who” of Essex County, participants teed off to raise $50,000 to benefit grassroots programs in Newark’s South Ward. With registration at 8 a.m., followed by a 10 a.m. shotgun start tee time, participants were there bright and early. The event featured breakfast, 18 holes of golf and an awards luncheon at 4 p.m., in which the winning teams and participants received merchandise, door prizes and had an opportunity to win a hole-in-one luxury car.

The charity golf outing celebrated Newark’s renaissance and James, the tournament’s chairman and an outspoken advocate for the issues that impact the quality of life for Newark residents.

“This is an inaugural golf tournament event for my civic association, mostly to benefit the South Ward, one of the largest communities in the city of Newark, and this will be an opportunity for us to give scholarships, breakfast (and) support local organizations, non-profits,” James said at the event. “We have so many participants. Some of my co-sponsors are honorable Mayor Ras Baraka, County Executive Joe DiVincenzo Jr., state Sens. Teresa Ruiz and Ronald Rice, also Tony Vauss, whom we have as representative co-sponsor, and Congressman Donald Payne, who was born and raised right here in the South Ward. So all of us come together to help the community. It’s about partnerships.”

The event had been postponed twice because of inclement weather, and James said he was excited to the weather was finally cooperating.

“Next year, we’ll try and keep it closer to June or July, when it’s a lot warmer. But again, the amount of support I’ve received is just phenomenal. All of the participants today and the co-sponsors. We just want this to continue,” he said.

Darryl Jeffries, the event’s manager, displayed his golfing talents, letting participants know he is a worthy contender.

“We expect to have a very successful day here today at historic and challenging Weequahic Golf Course,” Jeffries said to the Irvington Herald right before the event began. “The event supports the mission of the John Sharpe James Newark South Ward Civic Association, which is working to support grassroots organizations to create greater sustainability in our neighborhoods.”

“It is an honor to be associated with such a tremendous golf outing,” said Mayor Tony Vauss in a statement on Tuesday, Oct. 15. “Coming together with other elected officials for such a worthy cause is always an exciting venture.”

“The event is awesome,” Hope Jones, the community relations specialist for the Newark Fire Department, said at the event. “The weather is beautiful. John Sharpe James, this is a really good gathering or fundraiser to bring to the city of Newark. It’s awesome.”

In a statement given to the Irvington Herald, James said, “This is an event designed to engage the business community and the community at large. Most importantly, the proceeds from this effort will help speed up the day when we can create greater sustainability for grassroots civic community organizations.”

Photos by EmilyAnn Jackman