More than 25 teams of golfers and dozens of area sponsors came together in support of local students Sept. 26 during the 39th annual Education Open Golf Tournament, hosted by the Brookdale Community College Foundation.
The event, held at Eagles Oaks Golf and Country Club in Farmingdale, raised more than $63,000 for the Foundation’s “Building Minds, Building Futures” scholarship fund.
“We could not be more grateful to the nearly 200 players, sponsors and volunteers who helped make this tournament a success,” said Timothy Zeiss, executive director of the Brookdale Foundation and Alumni Affairs. “Their generosity will help the Brookdale Foundation provide hundreds of scholarships this year to deserving local students who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families.”
The outing featured a full day of golf and skills competitions on Eagles Oaks’ championship golf course, followed by a gourmet awards dinner where prizes were awarded for best team score, “closest to the pin” and other achievements. Attendees were also able to bid on dozens of silent and live auction items, including autographed sports memorabilia, exclusive trips and event tickets.
The dinner concluded with a keynote address by scholarship recipient Christine Little, who received disaster relief funding this year to continue studying as her family rebuilds their Hurricane Sandy-damaged home in Highlands. While her family remains displaced and devotes nearly all available resources to returning home, Little said she was unsure how she could afford to stay in school.
“I had received a NASA STEM fellowship that paid for my last two semesters, which was awesome, but this semester I was concerned,” said Little, a biology major and aspiring entomologist who carries a 3.95 GPA.
“I reached out to the Brookdale Foundation, submitted an application and within a week I got a phone call saying my entire tuition and my books would be paid for. I even got extra money for living expenses. It’s absolutely amazing, what all of you have made possible for me. Without your help, I would not have been able to follow my dream. Thank you all, so much.”
The Brookdale Foundation’s “Building Minds, Building Futures” scholarship fund has provided more than $5 million in scholarships to more than 7,000 local students over the past 17 years.
The tournament was co-chaired by Tina Munson, of Lomurro, Munson, Comer, Brown & Schottland in Freehold, and Carmen Penta, of Addeo, Polacco & Penta, LLC in Eatontown. Volunteer support for the tournament was provided by nearly a dozen Brookdale honor students and scholarship recipients.
“The funds raised at this tournament will help provide more than $450,000 in scholarships this year to Brookdale students of all abilities, backgrounds and ages,” said Munson. “The students who receive the scholarships are hard-working, middle class students determined to succeed and achieve their dream of earning a college degree. Thank you all for your generosity and your support.”
For more information on the Brookdale Foundation and its scholarship programs, click here.
Check out more photos from the 2017 Education Open here.