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Scarsdale PBA Charity Golf Classic Unites Cops and Community for Greater Good

ZelicoffSometimes, it takes a village ... and sometimes, you've got to bring together a team.

This was beautifully demonstrated last Monday, Sept. 25, when the Scarsdale Police Benevolent Association hosted their annual Charity Golf Classic, sponsored in part by Mercedes-Benz of White Plains, at Scarsdale Golf Club. The all-day extravaganza was superb in every detail, but the real magic came from the people involved. Under the leadership of PBA Event Chairman Ronnie Arefieg, this year's Classic showed an outpouring of generosity, loyalty and involvement from an ever-growing community of supporters – viewed by Arefieg, affectionately, as his "team."

The event's purpose was to benefit two charities with deep local ties – The Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF) and #PaulieStrong Foundation – and to support the Scarsdale PBA. With monetary donations still coming in, the Scarsdale PBA is gearing up to present checks to JDRF and #PaulieStrong Foundation later this fall. Last year's Charity Golf Classic generated enough funds for the Scarsdale PBA to donate $25,000 each to JDRF and St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Arefieg has been a Scarsdale patrol officer, with the motorcycle unit,PBAGroupShot since 2004. He took over the annual Charity Golf Classic in 2005, two years after the event's inauguration in 2003. The Classic has grown exponentially through Arefieg's creative vision and meticulous attention to detail. As a result, it has now become one of the region's most anticipated and most talked-about events. It is by invitation only.

This year's event opened with an outdoor brunch at 10 a.m. The seductive sounds of Frank Sinatra, played by the live trio, "Stolen Moments," welcomed guests onto Scarsdale Golf Club's rear terrace. Golfers were treated to champagne, passed hors d'oeuvres and food stations offering lobster, crab, raw seafood, made-to-order omelets, fresh waffles, tropical fruit, fine pastries, imported cheese, meat and other delicacies. Cigar rollers from La Casa Grande, in the Bronx, were hand-rolling premium artisan cigars from Cuban-seed tobacco grown in the Dominican Republic. Golfers enjoyed mild Connecticut Shades or full-bodied Maduro Robustos, while others relaxed with shoulder massages provided by Equinox Gym. Local photographers Mark Jessamy and Jon Thaler captured the day's details.

Arefieg's focused planning and preparation ensured the event's coordination and success. Vendors, sponsors, special guests, musicians, and Scarsdale Golf Club staff under the direction of Connie Mintzer worked together seamlessly. The result for attendees was amazing. Food vendors included Decicco Marketplace, Scarsdale Bagels, Joe "Mozzarella" Piacquadio, John Gristina Gourmet Pizza, Kumo Sushi and Lounge, Lange's of Scarsdale, Lulu Cake Boutique, Martine's Fine Bake Shoppe, La Renaissance and Ruffled Feathers. Each vendor provided extraordinary food experiences that guests will long remember.

jumpingZachys Wine & Liquor, of Scarsdale, oversaw the wines and spirits for the day. Don Zacharia, of Zachys, has long been a loyal contributor and supporter of the Scarsdale PBA and its endeavors. "Such dedication is exemplary," Arefieg said.

"Of course, I work hard to make this the best golf event that I can, but without the generosity, time and effort of everyone involved, it would not be what it is today," Arefieg continued. "This event happens because of all of us."

Robert Tucker, Esq., Chairman and CEO of T&M Protection Resources, LLC, said it is a "humbling honor" to be able to support the Charity Golf Classic. "This has become such an important community event. It supports our police, which is crucial in today's age, and it brings recognition to worthy charities that have been right under our noses," Tucker said. "It's a great opportunity to get together in a fabulous social setting. No one throws a better party than Ronnie. He has created a world class event, right here in Scarsdale."scarpino

Describing the day's highlights, Arefieg was full of enthusiasm: "We have so many surprises for the golfers. Out on the green, there's fun at different holes. We have pizza making in a brick oven, a pig roast, specialty food and drinks. Even '104.7 Radio Live with The Woodman Show' is out there."

According to William Mayer, former Scarsdale resident and owner of Maestro Catering and Eastwood Manor in the Bronx, "Just when you think this event can't get any better, it does! This is the fundraiser of the year – and I go to a lot of fundraisers. Scarsdale is a great community, and Scarsdale police are amazing."

cheeseThis year, Charity Classic golfers were limited to 36 foursomes. Tickets completely sold out in 17 days. Many golfers, like Adrian Regan, of Scarsdale, have been coming for years. Regan is a general contractor in New York City and owner of The Irish Bank, a popular Hartsdale pub, known for its good food and warm atmosphere. "Whatever you do, you've got to think about people and make that priority part of your success," Regan said. "I support the PBA because of the great job they do in my neighborhood and because this event donates to worthy causes. Doing good makes you feel good, and I look forward to being part of this event each year."

Following their games, players returned to the clubhouse for a lavish evening dinner. They were joined by spouses, friends and guests who did not play the course. Unlike other golf events that slowly fizzle out, this event always ramps up in the evening. This year's spectacular evening celebration, food, drinks and entertainment were made possible by the generosity of dinner sponsors: Mark Bezos, Scott Eichel, Scott Kleinman and Jordan Zaken.

This year's main sponsors were Mercedes-Benz of White Plains and Wilson & Son Jewelers. "I am thrilled with these sponsors' committed support and active involvement over many years. Their contributions and loyalty have helped this event grow in significant ways. This kind of loyalty is very special," Arefieg said.

James Macagna, Marketing Director for Pepe Auto Group and Mercedes-Benz of White Plains attended the event and shared his thoughts: "This is such an amazing day and such a spectacular event; the golf itself is almost secondary. As a company, we are proud to be part of this, since 2005, because it enables deeper involvement with the community, and we know our sponsorship supports good causes."

One of this year's grand prize raffles was a 2018 Mercedes-Benz C300 4MATIC sedan, from Mercedes-Benz of White Plains. The other grand-prize raffle was for a Rolex Oyster Perpetual, from Wilson & Son Jewelers. Mercedes-Benz of White Plains also slated a new 2017 C63 AMG cabriolet and a new 2018 E400 coupe as prizes for any golfer hitting a hole-in-one. No one did, but Macagna said, "We're always hoping someone gets a car. A hole-in-one is very exciting."

"A big part our business model is to do more and give back," Macagna explained.pepeautogroup "We love participating in events like these because we want our customers to see the larger reach of their business. We've been in Westchester for almost 50 years, so we're deeply invested in this community. By doing business with Mercedes-Benz of White Plains, our customers enable us to support local causes and give back to the community. This makes everyone stronger."

Arefieg starts planning each year's Charity Golf Classic about four months after the previous one concludes – and in the meantime, he's gathering ideas. In total, approximately six to eight months of intense planning, active networking, mind-blowing organization, and many long days and nights, comprise the behind-the-scenes activity leading up to the event. Arefieg makes sure every detail is perfect; nothing is overlooked; and every effort is thoughtfully coordinated and executed. "I owe a lot to Connie Mintzer and her team at Scarsdale Golf Club. They have been amazing and have catered to our every need," Arefieg said.

dwyerA cocktail hour on the clubhouse terrace began the evening festivities this year. Everything was of the highest caliber. "Someday Radio," a band formed by Scarsdale firefighters Mike and Tom Dwyer and their brother Pete, entertained guests with live rock music. Hand-rolled cigars were provided by Eagles Nest Cigars, of Harrison, and Pride Cigars, of Miami, Florida. Whiskey and Scotch tastings, sponsored by Zachys Wine and Liquor, featured Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Black Label, Lagavulin and Macallan 18. Additionally, a professional pourer featured Hudson Whiskey, a craft label produced by Newburgh's Tuthilltown Distillery. Across from the tasting table, fresh lobsters were being roasted over charcoal, and fresh mozzarella was being made by Joe "Mozzarella" Piacquadio, of the Chappaqua farmer's market.

Michael Wilson, of Wilson & Son Jewelers, spoke about his dedicated support of the event, the PBA and the Scarsdale community. "It is an honor to be a longtime sponsor of this Charity Golf Classic," he said. "We take part in many charitable fundraisers, but nothing compares to the passion and energy of this event. It is impressive and heartwarming. Everyone here represents the best of Scarsdale – and I'm proud to be a member of this very special community and a supporter of the Scarsdale PBA."Greenwald

Following the extraordinary cocktail hour, the party moved inside for dinner and dessert. DJ Serge Entertainment, of White Plains, energized the dance floor, as a silent auction occurred. People mingled and came together over smart conversation, plates of food, fine wines and shared purpose. They learned about valuable juvenile diabetes research funded by JDRF and groundbreaking pediatric cancer research supported by the #PaulieStrong Foundation. The #PaulieStrong Foundation was formed by the Jimenez family, of Greenacres, to honor their 10-year-old son Paul Ulysses Jimenez, who tragically lost his life to Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare soft tissue cancer, on January 5, 2016.

In addition to generously supporting these and other charities, as part of Scarsdale PBA's mission, the annual Charity Golf Classic provides crucial funding for the Scarsdale PBA itself. It is the organization's biggest annual fundraiser, and the PBA counts on it to keep healthy, continue operating and forward initiatives.

Scott Eichel has been a resident of Scarsdale for 11 years and is an important PBA supporter. He explained: "Scarsdale is a special community, where the intersection between police and community is key. The annual PBA Golf Classic is unique because its benefits are twofold. It not only supports the PBA's financial and budget needs. It also helps the PBA give back to important charities that positively impact residents in the community. It also brings people together in wonderful ways – police and people important to them, residents, old friends and new friends. It provides a great forum for members of the community to understand the needs and challenges of the police department, and for the police to hear what the community needs from them."

"It's really inspiring to see this event come together," Arefieg said. "It's a great event for many reasons, but its special energy comes from all the people who support it and participate in so many different ways."

Arefieg described how the event draws doctors, lawyers, judges, Scarsdale residents, non-residents, CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, current and former police chiefs, members of New York State police, county officials and police officers from across the region. He described how their collective support combines with the support and participation of sponsors, vendors, volunteers and the entire golf club staff to make the event happen.

"It's really a result of many great relationships that have been building over years, to allow us to reach this point, and make this incredible event what it is today," Arefieg said.

His sentiments were echoed by two local dignitaries at the evening event.

Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino commented that he looks forward to attending the each year. "It's certainly the 'Who's Who' event in law enforcement, a great party and a nice occasion to get together," he said. "And the Scarsdale PBA does a fantastic job raising money for good causes."

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, agreed: "As the chief of law enforcement in Westchester County, I go to a lot of fundraising events, but nothing compares to this gathering. It's the best in the county. What really stands out is the entire community's support for the police and the very positive relationship between police and community – which, these days, is really great to see."

Scarsdale Police Chief Andrew Matturro said the event made him proud: "I want to Congratulate PBA President Boris Grgas, Vice President Steve Delbene and Event Chairman Police Officer Ronnie Arefieg for the successful event. It was a beautiful day, and while everyone enjoyed their round of golf, the true success was in their ability to contribute to two very worthy causes – #PaulieStrong and juvenile diabetes. I want to commend all PBA members and police officers who volunteered their time to make this an incredible event. Those who participated saw a small example of how dedicated our men and women are to the PBA and to the Scarsdale community. I am fortunate to see this every day at work, and I am proud to be associated with these officers."

Following the event, Arefieg reflected on its success: "The greatest pleasure, for me, is in bringing so many people of different professions and backgrounds together, in one venue, for the same cause. It's a beautiful thing to experience. The Scarsdale PBA is so grateful to the entire Scarsdale community and to our supporters outside the community for their tremendous loyalty, generosity and kindness. My vision for this event has always been focused on a strong and authentic relationship between the community and the PBA, with everyone working together. I see this event as proof of one big team, one big effort, one big vision for the future."

If you are interested in attending, sponsoring or donating to the 15th Annual Scarsdale PBA Charity Golf Classic, scheduled for fall 2018, please contact Ronnie Arefieg or Scarsdale PBA at: rarefieg@scarsdale.com or 914-472-7877.

MercedesContent sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of White Plains
50 Bank Street, White Plains, NY, 10606
(914) 949-4000
www.mbwhiteplains.com

Mercedes-Benz of White Plains – "Expect Everything"

(Photo Credit: Jon Thaler: See more photos here.)

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