Golf

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Day of Golf, Tennis and Pickleball Supports Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens Not-for-Profits

The Daniel Gale Foundation, the charitable arm of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty will hold its 2nd Annual Outing at the Huntington Country Club, 483 Main Street, Huntington on Monday, June 24 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The outing will offer a day of golf, tennis, and pickleball in support of the Foundation’s mission to benefit charitable causes across Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and the East End. Proceeds from tennis and pickleball will benefit the Drew Hassenbein Foundation.

Paul F. Amoruso

This year’s honoree is Paul F. Amoruso, managing member and founder of Oxford & Simpson Realty Services, which develops shopping centers and office buildings, and Oxford Hospitality, which specializes in the management and development of upscale hotels. Oxford’s hotels on Long Island include Roslyn’s Hilton Garden Inn and two Hiltons in Melville.  A new hotel in Farmingdale will be ready to serve the 2025 Ryder Cup and a boutique hotel is in development for Jericho.  Paul is the co-founder of the Commercial Industrial Brokers Society and serves on the board of the Association for a Better Long Island. He is a longtime close friend and supporter of the Daniel Gale family.

The planning for this year’s event is once again in the hands of the advisory board of the Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty Young Professionals Network (YPN). Led by Kathleen McCarthy, a real estate advisor from the organization’s Garden City office and Melissa Stark, Sales Manager for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty’s Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington and Northport offices, this fabulous team is brimming with the ideas and execution skills to make a memorable and fun event. YPN is a group of approximately 80 real estate advisors who meet regularly to share business and personal growth opportunities through networking, mentoring and community outreach. This most recent event is one of several annual fundraisers YPN holds in support of the Foundation.

To register for or to sponsor the outing visit 2nd Annual Daniel Gale Foundation Golf Outing.

The Daniel Gale Foundation was launched in 2022, as part of Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty’s celebration of its centennial year. The Foundation was formed to consolidate and organize the ongoing charitable giving and outreach efforts of the organization’s management, staff and real estate advisors to make a greater impact. In the two years since its formation, the Foundation has donated the equivalent of 100,000 meals to Island Harvest and City Harvest food banks during Hunger Action Month®, supported Pink Aid in its fight against breast cancer, and raised more than $150,000 for local charitable organizations from Brooklyn to the North Fork and the Hamptons.

Throughout its history, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty has made it a priority to make a difference in the communities through donations totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars and hundreds of volunteer hours.

About Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty

Consistently achieving among the highest average sales prices nationwide, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty is based on Long Island, N.Y. with close to 950 real estate advisors serving New York City’s metropolitan area with 30 sales offices in Brooklyn, Queens,  Nassau and Suffolk counties, the North Fork of Long Island, and Westhampton Beach.  Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty is committed to marketing and showing homes in a way that gives prospective buyers and sellers the flexibility and convenience of online 3-D and regular video tours of many listed properties, floor plans, and photography, as well as virtual smart phone tours by request.   Our other services include a full Relocation/Referrals Division, a Rental Division, DGNY Commercial, and Ambassador Abstract Title company. The Sotheby’s International Realty® affiliate for Long Island and Queens since 1976, Daniel Gale Sotheby’s has gained national and international recognition, including top honors for sales, marketing and technology worldwide. For more information, visit danielgale.com.

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Last Chance Animal Rescue, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization that has saved over 20,000 animals since 2008, will celebrate a decade of saving lives with its 10th Annual Golf Fundraiser and Charity Dinner at Stonebridge Golf Links & Country Club, 2000 Raynor’s Way in Smithtown on Monday, August 5 starting at 11:30 a.m.

Serving as the rescue group’s largest fundraiser of the year, the event will feature special guest, NY Mets legend and Hall of Famer Howard Johnson. 

After a day of competing in 18-holes of golf, complete with individual hole contests and a complimentary beverage cart, participants can enjoy a three hour open bar and buffet dinner starting at 6:30 p.m. with raffles, a silent and  online auction, live music by George A. Barry and more. The silent and online auctions will include items such as: a day on the East End, a kayak, $500 Amazon gift cards, restaurant gift cards, and so much more!

All proceeds from the event benefit the organization’s efforts to rescue animals from in-humane kill shelters and relocate them to safe facilities and foster homes. For more information or to register, visit LCARescuegolf.com.

Stonebridge Golf Links & Country Club. Photo courtesy Stonebridge Facebook page

By Sabrina Artusa

As of May 7, Stonebridge Golf Links & Country Club withdrew its application to modify the 1999 agreement, which if accepted, would have allowed the club to further develop its property.

While the development proposal was accepted initially by the Town of Smithtown, the Planning Board’s approval was necessary for any covenant change.

After fierce backlash and extensive media coverage, Stonebridge withdrew its application three days before the end of the feedback period. 

When Stonebridge released a proposal to add a driving range, an 8,000-square-foot clubhouse and 28 new housing units to a total of 133, among other modifications to the golf course, Legislator Leslie Kennedy (R-Nesconset) received hundreds of letters in protest. 

The original covenants were intended to protect the environment, taking into consideration the Nissequogue River, adjacent forest and impacts to the floodplain. Stonebridge was prevented from building any more than 105 single-family residences on its 134-acre property. If more housing units were to be built, the covenants stated, then the golf facility must be closed and 90 acres must be preserved as open space.

As a result, community members feared not only that development would result in a rise in traffic and environmental damage, but also the loss of the golf course.

“The threats of the Stonebridge owner closing the golf course or reducing it to an executive course is alarming,” read a petition letter from the Hauppauge community.

At the March 20 Planning Board meeting at the Smithtown Senior Center, an influx of community members attended to voice their opinions, which were overwhelmingly against the development. Among those who spoke were Sue Stavrakos, secretary of the Stonebridge Homeowners Association, county Legislator Rob Trotta (R-Fort Salonga) and Michael Kaufman, vice chair of the Suffolk County Council on Environmental Quality. 

“If this covenant is abolished, then what?” Stavrakos asked. “What else could he apply for? This was put to protect the community.”

Hundreds of residents of this area have experienced flooding in their houses and adding to the property would only hinder the flow of water, according to Kennedy. 

Residents, including Trotta, noted the influx of traffic on an already busy road, congestion, dwindling open space and encroachment on Blydenburgh Park as more reasons to reject the proposal and honor the covenants.

“It really goes against what Suffolk County has been doing along with preservation and streambed maintenance,” Kennedy said. “My interests are preserving what little we have left.”

Now the Stonebridge application has been withdrawn. 

Above, members of the Joseph “JoJo” LaRosa Foundation during a golf outing event Monday, July 31. Back row, from left: Dawn Gibbons, Thomas Boyle, Gina Mastrantoni and Rose Mastrantoni. Front row: Emily LaRosa, left, and Maria Murrow. Photo by Liz Ashley Photography

By Raymond Janis

A new local tradition was launched Monday, July 31, when family and friends of the late Ward Melville High School alum Joseph “JoJo” LaRosa hosted the inaugural 18 for 18 golf event in his honor. 

JoJo was diagnosed in 2018 with the cancer, desmoplastic small round cell tumor sarcoma, which had him in and out of the hospital for the remaining years of his life. He died in August 2021.

Amid beautiful summer weather on Monday morning, dozens attended the event at the St. George’s Golf and Country Club in East Setauket for 18 holes of golf in JoJo’s honor. 

“My son was one of the kindest, most amazing human beings,” Gina Mastrantoni, his mother, said. “He had the strongest will.”

Golfers take off for 18 holes of golf. Photo by Liz Ashley Photography

JoJo was a multisport athlete who “played every sport imaginable,” Mastrantoni said. “Lacrosse, football, swimming, wrestling, soccer — you name it, he did it. He lived for sports.”

The Joseph “JoJo” LaRosa Foundation, with Mastrantoni as executive director, was created in 2021 to honor his memory by assisting children fighting for their lives. Rose Mastrantoni, Gina’s sister and the foundation’s marketing/public relations officer, described the impact of the prolonged hospital stays.

“They spent almost four years living in the hospital,” Rose Mastrantoni said. “You don’t realize they don’t leave the hospital, don’t leave their child’s bedside,” adding that the foundation seeks to do “anything we can do to help” those families.

“He was always rooting for the underdog,” Gina Mastrantoni said. “He always cared about the person in the bed next to him at the hospital.”

Foundation secretary Maria Murrow, JoJo’s aunt, referred to her nephew as a lover of sports and a golf advocate. She also noted the prominent role his favorite number, 18, played throughout the day.

“We’re dedicating the event and the day to him,” Murrow said. “It’s an ‘18 for 18’ — 18 holes for number 18 to give back to JoJo.” She added, “We endeavor to do more repeat events … like the toy drive and anything else that will help families who don’t know what obstacles are coming up.”

Following JoJo’s diagnosis, Gina Mastrantoni noted that he began to hone his golf skills. “We’re having this golf outing in his honor,” the mother said. “This was his favorite course, where he played and perfected his golf game whenever he could.”

JoJo’s sister, foundation vice president Emily LaRosa, referred to the event as “a way that we keep him in our minds and at the forefront of what we do every day.”

“We’re not forgetting about him,” she said. “This is our way of keeping him with us and trying to do good in his name.”

Foundation treasurer Dawn Gibbons, a longtime friend of Mastrantoni, characterized the immense work that took place behind the scenes to make the inaugural outing a success.

“It’s a tribute to JoJo, but I have to say that this event is also a tribute to his mom and his sister, Emmy,” Gibbons said. “As Gina said, he was always very concerned about the kid in the next bed. They want to now help that kid and their families.”

She added, “They know what they went through, and they want to ease the burden on other families with this foundation.”

Gina Mastrantoni responded to the immense show of support during this golf outing as “beautiful,” noting the sense of pride she derives from her son’s example.

“Everyone’s here in support of JoJo,” she said. “It’s overwhelming, as his mom. It makes me proud.”

To donate to The Joseph “JoJo” LaRosa Foundation, please visit jojostrong.org.

Left, Elizabeth Sill, wife of the late Greg Sill, with Ashley Marchese, Smithtown High School West social studies/special education teacher and athletics coach, during the 2nd annual Greg Sill Foundation golf outing. Photo courtesy SSD

On July 21, more than 100 people gathered at the Wind Watch Golf and Country Club in Hauppauge for the second annual Greg Sill Foundation Golf outing.

The event was held to honor the legacy of the late Greg Sill, the beloved Smithtown High School West history teacher.

“The foundation started on the day of his funeral,” said Greg’s wife, Elizabeth Sill. “I got up and said his name cannot end here. His legacy must live on.”  

Greg Sill passed away in March 2021. A GoFundMe page was created by Elizabeth Sill to raise money for what’s now called the Greg Sill “Be the Coffee Bean” Memorial Fund. More than $60,000 has been raised in scholarship money for local students, including an annual $5,000 scholarship for a Smithtown High School West and Smithtown High School East student. 

At the golf fundraiser, locals participated in a lunch, golf outing and dinner, as well as purchased gift bags and raffles.  

“The whole idea is to keep Greg’s legacy going,” said Ashley Marchese, Smithtown High School West social studies/special education teacher and athletics coach. “You get 100 people to show up, that’s what makes it all worth it.”

Elizabeth Sill said there were plenty of newcomers to the event this year, as well as plenty of Smithtown Central School District staff, including Smithtown High School East Principal Robert Rose and High School West Assistant Principals Annemarie Freund and Michael Freiberg.

Tony & Mary Liedtke, center, with RMHC NYM CEO Matt Campo (left, jacket & sunglasses) and the Suffolk County Police Emerald Society Pipes & Drums, which performed before the awards ceremony. Photo by @hoonsohnvisuals

Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro honored Tony Liedtke and the Liedtke Organization at its 6th Annual Stony Brook Golf Outing & Dinner at the Baiting Hollow Country Club recently, raising more than $150,000 to RMHC NYM activities supporting families with children receiving medical care in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The funds will support existing RMHC NYM programs that help families with children receiving medical care.

Tony Liedtke, right, with grandson Anthony Liedtke, Jr. (hat) with Jennifer Nicholson, COO, and Matt Campo, CEO.

“This event, like so many we celebrate, honors the commitment of Long Islanders who have their heart in the right place and back it up with action,” said Matt Campo, CEO of RMHC NYM. “We are grateful for the leadership of Tony Liedtke and his whole family, making sure our families have the help, support and resources that we provide.”

Founder Tony Liedtke started his journey with McDonald’s after he returned from Vietnam, first as a manager trainee and later growing into an owner/operator with nine store locations across the region. Over that time, he has helped McDonald’s grow into new technologies, piloting the first 24-hour store in the country and introducing credit card payments in the late 1990s, resulting in millions of dollars in increased sales across the country.

Today, Tony leads a senior management team that includes his daughter Jaime and other members of his family. He has paid his good fortune forward with philanthropy, supporting local Boy Scout troops and rebuilding the Long Beach McDonald’s store after Super Storm Sandy. He’s also been an integral part of the Stony Brook Advisory Council that is spearheading the drive to build a Ronald McDonald House in Suffolk County to serve families there.

About Baiting Hollow Country Club 

The Baiting Hollow Country Club is a privately owned, members-only golf club located in the rolling hills of Long Island’s north shore, just 10 miles from the Hamptons.  The golf course, designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, has been restored to its former glory in recent years and a magnificent 25,000 square foot Clubhouse was completed in 2008.

About Ronald McDonald House Charities NY Metro 

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) New York Metro provides free lodging, meals and emotional support to keep families seeking medical treatment for their sick children near the care they need and the families they love.

The Whaling Museum &  Education Center will host its 2nd annual Golf Outing  fundraising event on Monday May 15 at The  Woodside Club in Syosset. New York Community Bank (NYCB) is the main event sponsor. This event is in support of the museum’s community education  programming.

“New York Community Bank, a division of Flagstar Bank, N.A., is proud to once again sponsor this year’s golf outing to raise funds for The Whaling Museum.  As a long-time member of the Board of Trustees, I feel that I am personally making a difference toward the future of the organization.  By supporting this event, you can also make a difference to ensure that The Whaling Museum can continue to serve the Long Island community and provide a critical link to its history,” said Thomas Cangemi, President, Chief Executive Officer, and a Director of New York Community Bancorp, Inc. and Flagstar Bank, N.A.

“So many Long Islanders have fond memories of visiting our museum. We want to keep our museum going strong for the current and next generation, and our Golf Outing is a crucial fundraiser toward the museum’s operations. We are deeply grateful to New York Community Bank and our many other generous supporters who show their  ongoing support of The Whaling Museum,”  said Nomi Dayan, Executive Director, The Whaling  Museum & Education Center. “This event supports the museum’s commitment to provide exhibitions inspired by Long Island’s extraordinary history and fulfill our role as a hub for community programs which foster creativity and critical  thinking.” 

The outing begins at 9 a.m. with 11 a.m. as the “Shotgun Start.” Throughout the day golfers can expect ongoing buffets, on-course contests, hole-in one prizes and gin tastings from Championz Gin. There will be a cocktail reception followed by a  dinner buffet for guests to enjoy. The museum has planned a variety of on course activities for golfers to enjoy throughout the day. 

With breakfast, golfers may partake in drinks served by Murph’s Famous Bloody Mary Bar. Prior  to hitting the course, golfers are invited to meet with Stretch Zone for professional stretching that  will get them safely ready for a round. Next, golfers can stop by the Golfer Giveaway Table for a  shopping spree where every golfer gets to choose their own giveaway. Throughout the day, the  museum will be showcasing an exclusive Raffle Table with excellent prizes donated by local  businesses and generous corporations. The purchase of raffle tickets directly supports the museum’s public programming.

Golfers of all player levels are invited to join the Museum for this exciting opportunity to support a unique cultural gem on Long Island. This event is a significant fundraiser for their  education and cultural events serving children’s programs and a variety of adult programs that explore the history of whaling and Long Island’s crucial relationship with the ocean environment. All funds raised will support community education programming for the museum.  

The cost to play as an individual golfer is $525 which includes meals throughout the day as well  as the cocktail reception and dinner. The cost for cocktail and dinner reception only is $195. There are many levels of sponsorship available as well as a “Big Whale Foursome” which includes a Tee Sign with company logo for $2,000.

Registration and sponsorships are available on the website at cshwhalingmuseum.org/golf or by  contacting Gina Van Bell, 631-367-3418 ext. 12 or at [email protected]