This charity golf game was all about sharing the green.
The Jamaica Open NY Golf Championship at the Marine Park Golf Course Aug. 3was part of two back-to-back golf charity events to raise money for needy kids in the island nation as well as struggling New Yorkers.
The event raised money for Jamaica’s Palmyra Foundation, which provides youngsters in Jamaica with schoolbooks, and the New York Urban League, which provides resources for finding housing and employment to New Yorkers in need.
The golf tournament teed off the festivities on Aug. 3 with Reggae on the Green, a fund-raising event hosted by Devon Harris, a former member of the Jamaican Olympic bobsled team, complete with Jamaican-inspired grub, drinks, and jams.
The charity dinner provided a chance for people to raise money for the causes, even if they couldn’t hit the green for the tournament the next day.
“I also golf and I didn’t have time to take part in the tournament but I wanted to participate somehow,” said Michael Escoffery, a painter who was born in Jamaica and now lives in Westchester County.
Escoffery sold his paintings at the event and donated part of the proceeds to charities in Jamaica and New York. He said the attendees — which included former Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and Myra Avila, who is Miss Westchester — showed their support by donating to the causes.
“The people show their appreciation by opening their checkbook,” he said.
The golf tournament — held in New York for the first time — was open to professional and amateur players, and it wasn’t just about big giving — it was also about winning big. Professionals competed for a $5,000 cash prize. And two randomly selected golfers vied for a chance to win $1 million by making a hole-in-one from 150 yards away.
No one cashed in the $1 million dollars but the owner of the Marine Park golf course said one golfer came close — and the thrill of that feat was its own sweet success.
“It was very exciting — it was within three feet of the prize,” said Mike Giordano. “All in all, it was a great day.”