2012 Kiddush Cup – What a Day!

For the first time in the Cup’s 13-year history, NO RAIN was even in the forecast for our June 14th game day! For many reasons, this year was a special one for all who participated.

This year’s Kiddush Cup was dedicated in loving memory to two dear men who had been a part of our tournament since its inception – Dave Solomon and Sam Thompson. Both, for different reasons, contributed so much to the Cup, and we will miss them forever.

Thirteen years ago, Sam saw an article about the Cup in the newspaper and called to inquire about playing in it. He said he wanted to bring his 11-year-old grandson, Nick, so that he could teach him about charity and giving back to others. Thus began a wonderful relationship with Sam and Nick, both of whom played with us every year. In 2008, just months after his beloved wife passed, Sam participated in our live auction bid for a free airline ticket to anywhere in Europe. He wanted to go back to France where the two often traveled to and thought of as their second home. Sam won that bid and sent us a picture of himself standing before the Eifel Tower wearing the backpack that was given to all of our golfers that year. Knowing that we gave Sam this wonderful opportunity is quite special.

Special, too, was this year’s putting contest, which was sponsored by Quinnipiac Physical Therapy. As all who joined in the competition became aware, this year’s contest was different from any other we’d ever had. The late Dave Solomon’s wife, Judy, wanted Dave to be a part of our tournament. Dave, of course, was a beloved congregant, dear friend and renowned sports columnist for the New Haven Register. He was an important player and contributor every year in our tournament as the designer of our wonderful brochure.

One way we chose to honor Judy’s wonderful request was to have all Putting contest participants use Dave’s putter. Ryan’s high school algebra teacher, hockey coach and great friend, John Riley, won the coveted title of 2012 Dave Solomon Putting Champ with a hole in one.

Out on the course, hole #13 was designated as one of our many contest holes. With another opportunity to use Dave’s clubs, all golfers teed off with Dave’s driver. Trinity College’s hockey manager Russ Holdrege won the Dave Solomon Longest Drive contest for men. Ryan’s closest friend and first cousin, Julie Rappoport, won the same contest for the women.

The ‘special’ continued through to our after-dinner event. John Riley, who is a scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, brought with him a young NHL player named Kevin Shattenkirk. Kevin, who is a rising star playing for the St. Louis Blues, brought us a jersey for our auction, which he personally signed for the auction winner. Additionally, John brought NHL agent, Jordan Neumann to play with us. Jordan brought an NHL Stanley Cup Finals jersey that would be signed for the auction winner by the 2012 Conn Smythe winner, Jonathan Quick. Jonathan, a Hamden native, won the trophy just three days before our tournament. He is one of only six Americans to ever win the Smythe trophy, which is awarded to the MVP of the Stanley Cup finals. Both of these items and the men who brought them contributed so much to the excitement and success of the day.

With us, too, was a man who was not expected to live much past his first few years of life. Paul Drury, and the many thousands like him who are afflicted with Cystic Fibrosis, are one of the reasons we gather together and raise the funds we do. Paul, now 45, has undergone a kidney and double-lung transplant. He is an accomplished artist and an avid fundraiser for CF, and he mentored Ryan when he was in high school and volunteered at CF. Paul brought a beautiful print of one of his paintings for our auction, and it was truly an honor to have him join us this year for our dinner.

This year’s playing field of 124 golfers and an additional 20 diners was just fantastic. We are so grateful for all who attended and so generously contributed to the charities our tournament benefits.

The 2012 Kiddush Cup raised over $23,500; Beth Israel will be donating approximately $11,750 of the proceeds to Ryan’s Circle of Giving (RCG). RCG donates 100% of its yearly donations to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, The Yale Cancer Center’s Thoracic Oncology Program, and scholarships devoted to enabling a disadvantaged Hartford city youth to realize their dream of playing hockey, and sending a deserving Kingswood-Oxford high school student to Paraguay to perform community service in that country’s poorest region. Our Kiddush Cup proceeds will reach far and wide!

No Kiddush Cup would be complete without our M.C. and great friend, Fox61 sports broadcaster, Rich Coppola. We are so appreciative of his continued support!

A special thanks to Wynn Schoolnik, whose determination and tenacity are once again unparalleled! The unbelievable quantity and array of our raffle items are mostly due to Wynn’s efforts, and we thank him, very much!

Once again, we thank our terrific Chairs:

Dave Fried Financial Chair
Sandy Balayan Volunteer Chair
Wynn Schoolnik Gift Chair

And ALL of our wonderful volunteers:

Alida Cella, Ariana Balayan, Arlene O’Tell, Barry Schacht, Beryl Bloch, Diana Martini, Elise Schoolnik, Gary Spelucin, Henni Stolzman, Judy Solomon, Julie Rappoport, Kate Prior, Kathy Schacht, Kent Billings, Kimberly Dower, Lois Sachs, Lori Silkoff, Lynne Rappoport, Mimi Block, Miriam Fried, Nancy Huber, Phyllis Dober, Sally Smirnoff, Saul Freilich, and Shirley Glasner

Each and every one of these great people contributed their time and considerable efforts, helping to make our day a truly memorable event.

Plans for next year’s tournament are already underway, and we have secured a date at Traditions – so please mark your calendars today – for Thursday, June 13th, 2012.

See you then – for another great day!

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