As we go to print with the spring issue of Lumen, the Alumni Board of Governors is working hard to produce Newark Academy’s 21st Annual Minuteman Golf and Tennis Invitational. We anticipate that more than 100 alumni, parents, current and former faculty members, and friends will gather for golf, tennis, lunch, cocktails and dinner at Mountain Ridge Country Club in West Caldwell, New Jersey, on May 21. This event is always a great way to relax with old pals, make new friends and entertain business associates.
Even if you don’t play golf or tennis – and I never punish any of our players by joining their foursomes – the whole NA community is invited to raise a glass and enjoy a delicious dinner. I am grateful to my predecessors on the Alumni Board of Governors who created this event for all of us to “friend raise” and fundraise for NA. It’s important to share the history of this event and to thank the many alumni who have played and continue to play major roles in its success.
The Minuteman Golf outing was the idea of Peter Berhle ’69, who served Newark Academy as a member of both the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees. In the 1990s, Peter noted all the positives of the Newark Academy Parents Association’s Winter Gala and believed that the Board of Governors should host a golf outing to build our alumni community and raise funds for the school.
The first Invitational in 1998 was co-chaired by William Colin ’67 and Joseph DeJianne ’70. Since the event’s inception, the proceeds from the Minuteman Invitational have been directed to NA’s endowment and to specific campaigns that target NA’s long-term needs. The Invitational has helped fund continuing education for NA’s faculty and other school priorities including the Simon Family Field House and Rise & Flourish: The Campaign for Newark Academy. After the first few years of the event, the Mulvihill family (Gene ’76, Peter ’77, Julie ’78, Andrew ’81, James ’82 and Alexandra ’08) offered NA the use of the Crystal Springs Golf Resort in Sussex County, and their support boosted the Invitational’s financial success.
Each year, the Board of Governors works hard to keep the event fresh and fun. Our diligent group of volunteers expanded the event to include tennis and created a special pricing tier to attract young alumni. (That said, I’m grateful that the committee decided to pass on certain innovations: replacing sand traps with bear traps, requiring everyone to quote Caddyshack during dinner, and making players putt through a windmill on the final hole.)
Among the enhancements to the event have been the following:
I can’t express enough appreciation for our long-serving volunteers, from both on and off the Board of Governors, who have helped to organize this event and make it a fun and memorable experience. Many thanks to Darren Eskow ’94, Jacqueline Fleysher ’93, Noah Franzblau ’86, Jeff Heller ’81, Ian Josloff ’90, Wayne Kent ’85, Scott Newman ’73, Kim Wachtel ’86, Gayle Wieseneck, and Brian Zucker ’84.
We are also grateful that Coach Jeff Kacur has maintained close ties to NA since his retirement and serves as an important part of our committee. We are especially thankful for Steve Lustig ’91 and Matt Haiken ’01, who support the outing every year by providing two cars each from their dealerships, giving players the opportunity to win one with a hole-in-one shot.
Finally, let me thank the Governors on our Board who have worked very hard to make this event a great success. We are so lucky to have the strong contributions of committee chair Justin Garrod ’93 and members Dan Cronheim ’72, Kumar Ghafoor ’10, Pete Gruenberg ’81 and Katie Johnson ’11. We appreciate all those named here and the many other alumni who, in the past 21 years, have been and continue to be so generous with their time, leadership and support.
Whatever your age or skill level, we encourage you to pick up a club or racquet and join us at next year’s Minuteman Golf and Tennis Invitational!