Play Fore! The Kids
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Play Fore! The Kids

Golf classic scores big to aid developmentally disabled

Corey Hechler, incoming chair of 2015 Play Fore! the Kids, wins the $250,000 shoot-out of the day.
Corey Hechler, incoming chair of 2015 Play Fore! the Kids, wins the $250,000 shoot-out of the day.

The Kaplen JCC on the Palisades held its 15th annual golf classic at the Alpine Country Club in Demarest on August 3. The day benefits nearly 600 children with special needs who come to the JCC.

This year, for the first time, the event featured Play Games Fore! The Kids, where game lovers could take mah jongg lessons, or play mah jongg, canasta, or bridge.

“Our goal each year is to provide basic life experiences for children with disabilities,” the JCC’s CEO, Jordan Shenker, said. “Every year, when our community turns out in droves to support our golf event and thanks to them and our generous sponsors, auction contributors, chairs and staff, we raise the funds we need to continually develop new services for this special population.”

JCC board member James Ackerman addresses guests at the golf event.
JCC board member James Ackerman addresses guests at the golf event.

Proceeds will support children with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities who attend the Guttenberg Center for Special Services at the JCC, which offers more than 70 programs each month for people with special needs. The funding will allow children to participate in the JCC nursery school and summer camps; provide the opportunity for developmentally disabled children and teens to learn valuable skills that will enhance their daily lives; and support Camp Dream Street, a free camp dedicated to children with cancer and blood disorders and their siblings, who get to swim, bake, dance, plant gardens, and do absolutely everything that their healthy peers would do, in a caring, medically safe environment.

Special events chair Amy Zagin, volunteer chair Melanie Zingler, Jennifer Schiffman, Keri Friedman, Heather Rabinowitz, and games chair Allison Hechler.
Special events chair Amy Zagin, volunteer chair Melanie Zingler, Jennifer Schiffman, Keri Friedman, Heather Rabinowitz, and games chair Allison Hechler.

As always, the event featured an afternoon shotgun, a $250,000 shoot-out, hole-in-one competitions, prizes, awards, and a 50/50 raffle. The day also included brunch, a cocktail and dinner reception, and live, fisherman, and silent auctions, featuring such items as sporting events, special theater tickets, and romantic getaways.

Founding golf chairs, JCC secretary Barry Zeller, JCC president JoJo Rubach, and JCC vice president Michael Kollender.
Founding golf chairs, JCC secretary Barry Zeller, JCC president JoJo Rubach, and JCC vice president Michael Kollender.

A special highlight of the night was a presentation by James Ackerman, who told his personal story about his son Josh and the JCC Therapeutic Nursery, which began 21 years ago. This led to Mr. Ackerman becoming a JCC board member. Today, his son volunteers at the JCC in the IT department and does other tasks for several JCC areas.

JCC chief executive officer Jordan Shenker, event co-chair Jason Rubach, incoming event chair Cory Hechler, presenting sponsor Richard Kurtz, event co-chairs Eric Kleiner and Jeffrey Jagid, and incoming event chair Tracy Reichel.
JCC chief executive officer Jordan Shenker, event co-chair Jason Rubach, incoming event chair Cory Hechler, presenting sponsor Richard Kurtz, event co-chairs Eric Kleiner and Jeffrey Jagid, and incoming event chair Tracy Reichel.

“He is doing great and building confidence every day, and we are grateful to the JCC for all it has done for Josh and our family,” Mr. Ackerman said.

The auction committee included Danielle Kaplan, special events chair Amy Zagin, Jennifer Zuckerman, Sari Perrino, Jennifer Zeccardi, incoming event chair Tracy Reichel, auction chair Tara Jagid, Alana Hurewitz, Audrey Gabel, Jeanine Casty, Jill Rubach, and Melissa Garden.
The auction committee included Danielle Kaplan, special events chair Amy Zagin, Jennifer Zuckerman, Sari Perrino, Jennifer Zeccardi, incoming event chair Tracy Reichel, auction chair Tara Jagid, Alana Hurewitz, Audrey Gabel, Jeanine Casty, Jill Rubach, and Melissa Garden.

The JCC extends thanks to the Kurtz family as presenting sponsors and well as to the day’s co-chairs, Jeff Jagid, Eric Kleiner, and Jason Rubach; incoming chairs Cory Hechler and Tracy Reichel; auction chair Tara Jagid; the games committee, chaired by Allison Hechler; volunteer chairperson Melanie Zingler; special events chair Amy Zagin, and development chair Bonnie Notis.

For information, call Sharon Potolsky at (201) 408-1405 or email her at spotolsky@jccotp.org.

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