Big Daddy, golf, charity
(Photo by Mark Carosiello - JSN)

Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Tournament: Big Hearts for a Big Cause

The Big Daddy Celebrity Golf Tournament was held Monday July 18, 2022, at the iconic Oheka Castle in Huntington, NY and while the weather may not have been ideal, that did not stop the star-studded event from happening!

The annual event, hosted by Rich “Big Daddy” Salgado, started back in 2010 to raise awareness for charitable organizations. This years' Celebrity Classic also partnered with the SHER Group, founded by Anzhelika Steen-Olsen, which focuses on women’s empowerment and serves as a place to come together and celebrate our unique perspectives.

The Big Daddy Classic had been on a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19 and looked to come back in 2022 with a renewed focus and expanded purpose. This year, the spotlight was on the Kids Need More and Pop Earth organizations.

Kids Need More was started in 1990 by a group of parents who created a camping experience for their children diagnosed with cancer and their siblings. In 2013, a group of Camp Adventure volunteers collaborated with Kids Need More (Motivational Recovery Environments) to parent the camp and ensure that Camp Adventure will continue to provide a safe and positive environment for the children coping with cancer.

Pop Earth is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing holistic health services and options for those with special needs including Autism & other developmental disorders.

The Pop Earth organization is one that is near and dear to Merril Hoge’s heart as he told JSN before he hit the green, “I have a grandson who has a degree of autism, so I am very passionate about getting the right education and plans in place to give these kids the care and help they need”

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(Photo by Mark Carosiello - JSN)

While the golf tournament carried on, The SHER Group hosted a Women’s Empowerment Luncheon at the beautiful Oheka Clubhouse with big names such as Susan Lucci and a lineup of incredible speakers and performers that delighted attendees throughout the afternoon. Special guest speakers included Josephine de Moura, Josh Lafazan, Carolyn Manno, Jeff Hoffman and Miss NY Andreia Gibau who talked to the guests about the importance of mental health awareness.

Guests were also treated to a performance of “Titanium” by Carolina Rial from The Voice and a stunning violin performance by Grammy-nominated artist, composer, and producer Masha Brodskaya.

The most moving and emotional part of the Luncheon was a speech, given by de Moura, who tragically lost her daughter three years ago in a rip current when she was on vacation with friends in Cabo San Lucas. Josephine bravely told us her heartbreaking story while being surrounded by her family, friends and SHER founder Anzhelika Steen-Olsen who was there to give a supportive hug when Josephine needed it.

de Moura credits the SHER Group for helping to, “empower her and to come together as a community to make a difference.” She goes on to say that, “she can’t bring her daughter back, but she can make a difference.”

de Moura is now on a mission to educate the schools of Nassau County and others across the nation about the dangers of rip currents by introducing a bill called ‘Alexandra’s Law’ which will be part of the curriculum in Nassau County Schools. Alexandra’s Law will teach students how to recognize and react to rip tides and undertows. When we asked Josephine how we can help support her initiative even in New Jersey she said, “to go to your school boards and ask about the current curriculum, ask if they offer education on rip currents.”

One of the most interesting stories of the day was when we asked Steen-Olsen how she started SHER group. She told us that when she was working with In-Style magazine her publisher was opening a winery and she wanted to support the new venture, so Steen-Olsen drove herself and a group of women up to the winery for the grand opening. During the car ride, the women shared stories of their struggles, triumphs and dreams and it was that moment that sparked the idea for the SHER Group in which she notes, “We are not just a safe space, we are a playground too and we do a lot of fun things together.”

Sometimes really beautiful things can be created out of the most unlikely of moments and it was that moment in the car that gave Steen-Olsen the determination to create a safe space for women to not only feel empowered but to give them a place to grow and heal.

Big Daddy Classic For The Win!

The Big Daddy Golf Classic succeeded in expanding their purpose and emphasized the importance of championing for each other through their charitable initiatives and partnership with the SHER Group. JSN was happy to be a part of this special day and we look forward to supporting The Big Daddy Golf Classic for years to come.

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