New Jersey Chapter

Official State Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame

New Jersey Chapter 20th Annual Golf Outing a Hugh Success

The 20th annual golf outing proved to be its most successful, as a record 125 registered golfers took part in the New Jersey Chapter’s July 26 event.

Held at Mercer Oaks Golf Course in West Windsor, NJ, the day included breakfast, goodie bags, golf carts for the 18-hole best ball tournament, dinner, prizes, auctions and donations.

“It was a wonderful event, a very good outing,’’ said golfer and chapter board member Bill Garbarini. “Very well attended, a number of board members, and a number of people who are I think just wrestling fans. The course was in excellent shape, the food was great; a lot of really good camaraderie.

“Our foursome had a couple of geezers hitting from the 65-and-over tees. We shot seven under, but we didn’t even sniff the podium. Fifteen under won it, and second place was 14 under.”

Prize-wise, the big payoffs were donated by Target, Home Depot, P.C. Richards, Eagle Ridge Golf Club, and included a custom-made wooden American flag. Seventy-five items comprised a Silent Auction, among them free golf, golf lessons, Rutgers University sportswear, Rider sportswear and Princeton sportswear. Typical of the chapter’s purpose, all four 50-50 winners returned their prize money.

Scholarships of $500 will be awarded to four grade six thru 11 wrestlers, to aid them in attending camps or clinics. A specific charity will receive a donation from the chapter, as well as a veteran’s organization.

Despite temperatures in the 90s, a good time was had by all.

Bob Shernce, former wrestler at Seton Hall University and a member of the Chapter Hall of Fame, tries to play at least nine holes a week and enters numerous tournaments every summer. He had nothing but praise for the East and West courses.

“It was a beautiful course,’’ he said. “They really did a nice job. The food was great. And my son-in-law won a box of wine! I played with a couple of former students. They’re hitting 260 yards. I’m hitting 180. But it was fun. As usual.”

“A happy day,’’ said Ernie Finizio, founder of the initial golf outing who chaired the event 12 years. “They did a great job with the prizes. Fantastic job.”

Chapter President Howie O'Neill couldn't agree more, echoing reactions of his peers. "Tremendous turnout, a great day. The food was good, the weather great. I think everyone had a really good time. It was one of our best outings." he said. "It's really always about the camaraderie and the fun."

“I think the outing also personified the strength and commitment of the chapter,” added Ken Bernabe, Chapter VP, and co-chairman of the event. “We are able to provide support for student wrestlers, to give them scholarships to improve their wrestling skills and their appreciation of the sport, and to continue to provide veterans organizations and to look at other charitable organizations.

“Once again we were heavy on the hospitality, and the mission is to always provide the best for all who participate that day. I think we accomplished that, and we look forward to doing much of the same at our 2024 Golf Outing.”

(Article written by Paul Franklin, a NJ-NWHOF Board of Director)

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