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Golfing event benefits JESPY House
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Golfing event benefits JESPY House

At the event are Deborah Davis Ford, at microphone, and, from left, village trustees Summer Jones, Karen Hartshorn Hilton, and Donna Coallier and Essex County Freeholder Tyshammie Cooper. 
Photos by Shawn Brand/JESPY House.
At the event are Deborah Davis Ford, at microphone, and, from left, village trustees Summer Jones, Karen Hartshorn Hilton, and Donna Coallier and Essex County Freeholder Tyshammie Cooper. Photos by Shawn Brand/JESPY House.

ABOUT 170 PEOPLE — among them nearly 90 golfers — took part in the South Orange Golf Invitational in support of JESPY House, the nonprofit organization that services adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The event, which raised $240,000 and included a dinner and silent auction, took place Sept. 16 at the East Orange Golf Course in Short Hills.

JESPY executive director Audrey Winkler thanked the gathering for their “generous donations” that will go toward “two major projects: One is geared toward our young adults, and the other is our Aging-in-Place program, which helps older clients with their specific needs.” The funds raised will provide more targeted programming, job training, skill development, and programs to enhance clients’ physical and mental wellness.

Winkler introduced two clients, one from each program, who shared their experiences while living at JESPY House in South Orange.

The event also featured hosts South Orange Village trustees Donna Coallier, Karen Hartshorn Hilton, and Summer Jones; Village President Sheena Collum; Deborah Davis Ford, board clerk of the Essex County Freeholders and a founder of the invitational; and State Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-Dist. 27, in absentia).

JESPY board president Ron Brandt said, “Our mission and our goal is to make a positive independent-life impact on people with developmental disabilities.”

The invitational’s Rachel Ford announced the golf winners and Davis Ford introduced next year’s honoree, the South Orange-based nonprofit Cinema Ed. JESPY board member and event steering committee cochair Stacey Davis gave an overview of the silent auction.

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