Beautiful Days at Ramblewood: Good Food, Good Beverages for a Good Cause
Written by Joanne Costantino

Friday, April 25, 2014

Let’s not mince words, Mother Nature is a Sled Hockey fan. She must be since she has provided spectacular weather for the Wings of Steel Golf Tournament at Ramblewood Country Club, every year for the last seven years.

This event was born of need. See below for the history of Wings of Steel Golf Tournament at Ramblewood. For now, please enjoy this recap of another successful golf outing and the converging of kindness with the relish of a good day of golf.

As in the past seven years, the numbers of participants have never been a problem. This year presented a problem in that the registration filled up early and we had the distinct issue of actually being overbooked and had to turn away players.

The day starts off with a morning 50/50 drawing while the players register and enjoy a hoagie lunch. This year’s morning 50/50 generated a kitty of $940, of which the winner “Sean” generously donated back his winnings. Thank you, Sean.

After the players are called to their carts, the course ranger announces the scramble instructions and gets the game started.

While on the golf course, players are attended to by our beverage cart hostesses. This year we found the beverages were extra cold and the thoughtfulness of a lid for the cups was especially appreciated by those driving golf carts.

Found on the course are special auction items and hole prizes. This year there were 2 signed NHL hockey sticks, strategically placed on the course. Prizes for ‘closest to the pin’ and best score under par are awarded. This year there was a tie between 2 teams at 12 under Par! The tie-breaker was determined by how each team did on the #1 handicap hole. The winners birdied that hole.

The afternoon/dinner time 50/50 generated a kitty of $970 of which the winner Sue Rudley also donated back her winnings! Thank you, Sue!

Chinese Auction: Every team parent commits to providing at least one basket valued at least $50. This year there was a couple Lottery baskets, Dinner and a Show/Night Out, Family games, and Weekend excursions to different locations.

Silent Auction: A variety of authentic sports memorabilia awarded to the highest bidder signed on the bid sheet.

Live Auction: This year we had the distinct opportunity to offer a pair of autographed point shoes from a lead ballerina of the New York Ballet Company. While it might seem contrary to display such an item among an array of autographed hockey jerseys, think about the energy and strength needed to perform dance, especially ballet. It was a fitting item and a suitable auction price.

The Crosby did sell, but it went ‘silently’ to someone who wished to remain anonymous.

Since the very first event the MC has been Brian Startare who was otherwise committed this year to broadcasting responsibilities because of the Flyers/Rangers game schedule. At the eleventh hour, Brian enlisted Matt Lombardo who manned up and helped us help our guests part with some of their hard earned cash in the spirit of giving for an excellent cause. Thank you, Matt, for stepping up at the last minute. We hope you will continue to be part of the Wings of Steel family.

All in all, it was a very good day for a fundraiser. There is never a ‘low’ point to this event. However, the Wings held a moment of silence for a beloved team member, Jessica Shaw, who died within days of last year’s event. Jess suddenly became critically ill and passed away that very weekend. Her bubbly personality continues to be missed, and it was in her memory that the dinner hour was kicked off.

About the Wings of Steel Golf Tournament:
For many years ice time at the Skate Zone in Voorhees was generously donated to the Wings of Steel for practice and game time. Players are provided equipment at no cost to them or their family and equipment was and continues to be maintained by the volunteer labor of Dennis Senk. As the Wings of Steel developed and continued to be a competitive entity within the area division of sled hockey competition, so goes the economy. Ice time and game time could no longer be a viable contribution by the Skate Zone ownership and administration. The Wings of Steel organization was informed they would have to pay an annual fee for ice time comparable to able bodied teams.

To supplement the team’s meager coffers, team moms and dads often pushed 50/50’s at games and would stage bake sales and coin tosses. Any profit from these campaigns could barely scratch the surface for the cost of maintenance and uniform outfitting, let alone the prohibitive cost of ice time. Hockey is not an inexpensive activity. Couple that fact with the extra factor of this sport’s equipment geared towards the special needs population, and it soon becomes clear that bake sales and coin tosses are not going to generate viable revenue. The idea to hold a fundraiser was the last chance to hopefully generate enough cash to keep the Wings of Steel operating and to afford the cost of ice time.

Ramblewood Country Club has been a steadfast supporter since the inception of this event. They have helped the club by allowing the tournament to always kick off the last Friday in April, making it a day our participants plan for in advance. Especially of note is that the Ramblewood staff is always gracious and helpful in any way to make this day a success for the kids who play in the Wings of Steel Sled hockey team.