16th Annual Golf Classic at Baltusrol Golf Club Supports Life-Saving Mission of Organ and Tissue Donation

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The 16th Annual NJ Sharing Network Golf Classic on Monday, October 6, will spread the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation — and raise funds for education and research.

The 16th Annual NJ Sharing Network Golf Classic on Monday, October 6, will spread the life-saving message of organ and tissue donation — and raise funds for education and research.

The golf classic, presented by Barnabas Health, will be at the Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, which will be home to the 2016 PGA Championship. Baltusrol, which dates back to 1895, has hosted seven US Opens and one PGA Championship.

Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes in New Jersey, a network of 27 funeral homes that has long supported donor families, is a supporter of this year’s golf event. Dignity Memorial also provides funeral and cemetery services around the nation.

“We could not be more honored to participate in this NJ Sharing Network event to raise funds to advance the mission of organ and tissue donation and to create more awareness,” said Michael Steffaro, Market Director of Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes in New Jersey.

“We work with many families at their time of grief and we support families who make the decision to give the gift of life. We let them know they have made the right decision. And we believe we all have a responsibility to honor the legacy of donors and support their families,” Steffaro said.

Also supporting the golf event will be Mitch and Ali Kogen, who were supported by Dignity Memorial after their five-year-old daughter, Riley, gave the gift of life just nine short months ago. “Riley was a vibrant and outgoing little girl, and to honor her legacy we want to support NJ Sharing Network and help other families in crisis through Riley’s Dance fund,” Ali Kogen said.

Many of the people involved in the golf classic have long supported the life-saving mission. Morristown resident Lenore Ford is chair of the golf event, and her participation is a way to honor the legacy of her husband, Bill, who suffered from a rare liver disorder and received two liver transplants. Ford's late husband, founder of Ford Financial Group, based in East Hanover, was very healthy until a rare disorder caused his liver to fail. He died in 1994 shortly after a second transplant.

Lenore Ford remains grateful for the two donors whose generosity gave her husband the transplants. She remains committed to the mission of increasing organ and tissue donation. “Every transplant saves a life and is a miracle,” she said.

The NJ Sharing Network Golf Classic was held at Baltusrol for the first time last year.

“Our golfers and participants were so impressed with the historic course and beautiful surroundings that we decided to return to Baltusrol for this year’s event,” said Joe Roth, President and Chief Executive Officer of NJ Sharing Network. He noted that both the upper and lower courses at Baltusrol would be available to golfers. Prizes will be awarded in different golf categories.

“This wonderful event provides a memorable day on the course,” said Joe. “But we know our ultimate aim is to support our mission. Nearly 5,000 people in New Jersey are in desperate need of organs, and all of our efforts work toward providing the gift of life to as many people as possible.”

The golf classic this year includes something new for those who want to learn to play golf as well as those who want to improve their game: a golf clinic. A Baltusrol golf pro will conduct the clinic and golf clubs are available upon request. Also included in the golf clinic package are the cocktail and awards reception, which will include a tricky tray and silent auction.

For additional information or to participate, please contact Alyssa D’Addio at 908-516-5432 and ADAddio(at)njsharingnetwork.org. Or visit http://www.njsharingnetwork.org.

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Jonathan Jaffe
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