Golfer’s marathon helps feed the hungry
Because Steve Weinstein wanted to honor his father’s memory, and because he had enough stamina to play 101 holes of golf in a single day, Jewish Family and Children’s Service of Monmouth County is benefiting from a new endowment of $70,000.
Weinstein attracted sponsors by seeking pledges on the website of the Hundred Hole Hike, a national network of golf marathons in which participants walk 100 or more holes of golf in one day in order to raise money for charitable causes.
On July 1, the 47-year-old Weinstein began the first of five rounds and 11 additional holes at 5:15 a.m., noticing sparks come off his driver in the pre-dawn darkness. He played alone in order to make up time.
“I played at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, where I am a member,” he told NJJN via e-mail. “The manager Steve Wolsky and head greens keeper Cliff Moore were instrumental in making the day a success.”
The principal earned from Weinstein’s feat will be invested, and the income it generates will be used to feed the needy of Asbury Park, said JF&CS executive director Paul Freedman. The funds have been dedicated to support the agency’s holiday food programs and weekly food pantry.
David Weinstein died in August 2012. The 73-year-old Ocean Township resident, who succumbed to complications following a stroke, had been an ardent backer of JF&CS and had served on its board of directors. At the time of his death, he was still a member of the agency’s advisory board.
“I knew Dave as a generous, kindhearted person who always had the best interests of our clients in mind,” said Ellen Grossman, president of JF&CS.
Steve Weinstein said his father was a man “who made everyone he met feel special and liked. He was the lawyer who wouldn’t charge those going through a tough time, who treated everyone as an equal whether they were carrying golf bags or the mayor of the town….”
“I had been looking for a way to honor my dad and thought the Hundred Hole Hike was the perfect undertaking,” said Weinstein in a blog posted on the website. “He taught me my love for the game, and a lot of my favorite memories of him are on the course.”
Weinstein himself is a supporter of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest, which covers North Caldwell, where he lives.
The golfer assembled a strong support team for the event. Friends who helped carry his golf bag included Doug Friedman, Matt Atlas, Brett Resnick, Marc Adelman, Ken Lorman and Mike Kessler. Atlas had performed a similar exploit about a year ago and helped inspire Weinstein to try it this year.
Weinstein said his wife, Wendy, and his mother, Leslie, who still lives in Ocean Township, were on board for most of the day. Others lent moral support, “kept watches and cell phones charged, and made sure all bellies were full.”
He finished the first 18 holes in 1:41 with a score of 81, three strokes below his average (his handicap is nine). By 6 p.m. Weinstein had completed the 100th hole and decided to go for one more — “just for luck.” He went to the course’s 18th hole, “the hardest one,” and parred it. Overall, he totaled 470 strokes for the day, about 4.6 per hole.
This despite foul weather, including a hurricane warning that forced an interruption after the first 40 holes. “It rained throughout the day, except at the end when the clouds parted and we took a group picture,” Weinstein said.
The next day, Weinstein reported, he felt physically and emotionally depleted, but said he went to work to tell the story. “I also played golf the next five consecutive days, played well, and walked,” he said.
Freedman called Weinstein’s accomplishment “magnificent, a great tribute to his father. It will go a long way toward helping people in need.”
But, he added, “no one should be intimidated and think that an endowment has to be $70,000. At JF&CS, we are always grateful for every endowment or contribution honoring someone’s memory.”