If you are passionate about supporting the Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, plug Silverado Golf Course in Phoenix into your GPS on April 7. That’s the date of The J’s annual golf tournament, one of the center’s largest fundraisers. Exercise, friendship, and the great outdoors are compelling factors for participation, but the main benefit is the opportunity to support the myriad enriching programs The J offers; from preschool to camps, to youth scholarships and even senior programming. Novices are welcome; you don’t have to be an Arnold Palmer or a Jack Nicklaus to participate – all you need is a desire to enrich the lives of fellow Jews.
The event starts at 11:30 am with a shotgun start at 1 pm. Cost per foursome is $900 or $250 per individual. The fee includes a pre-tournament lunch, 18-hole round of golf, cocktail awards reception and a gift bag. Tournament fun includes closest-to-the-pin and longest-drive contests complete with prizes. If you are lucky enough to get the coveted hole-in-one, you’ll be driving home in a brand new car from Scottsdale Infinity.
A “dynamic duo” of Board Chair Jonathan Hoffer and Event Chair Jonathan Harris are the driving force of the tournament. The two met at The J and are now friends and business partners at SMS Financial in Phoenix. “I’ve been involved with The J my entire life,” says Harris, who has served on the board twice. “In fact, I’ve never not been involved with The J. I practically lived there when I was younger. I swam, played tennis, and played a lot of basketball. I went to Camp Kadima, Camp Teva and Camp Lebeau in Prescott.” Hoffer, too, has a rich history at The J, spending countless hours there during his youth. Eventually, Hoffer ended up keeping score for the basketball leagues and ran summer camps. In later years, he became the assistant physical education director and camp director as well.
Harris credits Lanny Lahr, who co-owns the golf course, for the success they have had in the past. “He’s been very involved with the Jewish community as well as the capital campaign to build the campus,” he says. “He’s also been the past chairman of the board of the federation, and he works to make the event as seamless as possible. Of course, our sponsors are crucial to the success of the tournament and we are always looking for more.”
There are others who have worked diligently and behind the scenes to create an unforgettable day: Special Events Manager Megan Montgomery and Corporate Giving Director Andrea Quen. “Without these two, the event would never have come to fruition,” says Hoffer.
As of press time, corporate sponsors included presenting sponsor Republic West Remodeling, Infinity of Scottsdale, Goodman Interior Structures, Gary Weiss/Raymond James and the Mahoney Group.
“Republic West Remodeling is proud to sponsor the tournament again this year,” says owner Jim Weisman. “It was a wonderful event last year and everyone appeared to have a good time. The JCC is an important part of our community and we feel it is necessary to support the outstanding programming they provide. I especially enjoyed playing in last year’s event because I love the scramble format and spending the afternoon with friends and colleagues.”
For those who love the thrill of a live auction and can’t resist waving their hands wildly, a number of golf experiences at private exclusive clubs such as the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Silver Leaf, Paradise Valley Country Club, Phoenix Country Club and Forest Highlands will be up for grabs.
“There will be a good contingent of long-time JCC members from our previous facility on Maryland Avenue,” says Hoffer. “We are looking to getting as many new people as well to experience this fun JCC event. We are also very excited to bring the JCC tournament back to Silverado and are expecting an exciting day for everyone that plays. It’s a critical fundraiser for the JCC, which is the hub of the Jewish community. It’s also important so that future generations can thrive.”