GOLFERS INVITED TO TEE OFF AT LEVIS JCC’S 17th ANNUAL GOLF CLASSIC

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24th AT ADDISON RESERVE COUNTRY CLUB

Enjoy Golf on a Challenging Course While Supporting

Levis JCC Programs and Services

BOCA RATON, FL (September 20, 2019) – The Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center invites foursomes to participate in its annual Golf Classic. Players and sponsors are invited to participate in the event, to be held Thursday, October 24th at Addison Reserve Country Club in Delray Beach. The event, generously sponsored by the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler Family Foundation, continues a tradition of honoring longtime Levis JCC supporter and Board member Mel Gutmann’s memory and his legacy of service to the Jewish community. His children Eric Gutmann and Lori Fineman, current Levis JCC Officers, serve as Honorary Chairs. The Levis JCC Golf Classic features 18 holes of championship-like golf and a post-play reception honoring individuals and foursomes for their accomplishments on the golf course. The first-place foursome will be presented with the Mel Gutmann Award, while Boca Raton Regional Hospital will be honored for its continued generous support of the Levis JCC. 

Led by the Levis JCC Golf Classic Team and a strong committee, the day begins at Addison Reserve Country Club at 10:30 a.m. with registration, a light lunch, warm-up, and a putting contest, before a 12:30 p.m. Shotgun Scramble start. The day concludes with cocktails and dinner, an Awards Ceremony and the presentation of the Mel Guttman Award.

Fees to play in the Golf Classic are $425 for individual golfers, or $1,800 for “Elite Foursomes,” which includes a Tee Sponsorship. Additionally, players, participants, and the community at large are invited to enter a raffle drawing featuring these exciting prizes:

  • 2 tickets to Sara Bareilles Concert at BB&T Center on Saturday, November 23 and 5 hours of limo service for up to 10 people provided by Avanti Limo
  • Beautiful Jewelry donated by Zo Diamonds
  • Unisex Invicta Watch

·         $1,000 towards the Levis JCC program/service of winner’s choice or $1,000 cash.

Additional raffle prizes include restaurant gift cards, rounds of golf at prominent country clubs, and retail gift cards. Suggested minimum donations are $75 per raffle ticket or 4 tickets for $250.  No more than 300 tickets will be sold.  The raffle drawing will be held Thursday, October 24th during the Awards Ceremony. For more information please visit www.levisjcc.org.

All proceeds from the Golf Classic directly benefit programs of the Levis JCC, including:

  • Levis JCC Betty & Marvin Zale Early Childhood Learning Center, where children ages five months to pre-kindergarten are enriched with Jewish life as they embark on a journey into a world of learning.
  • Levis JCC Helene and Roy Schwedelson Special Needs Department, where individuals with special needs and their families can experience a  variety of programs
  • specially designed to enhance the lives of children, teens and adults with disabilities; volunteer opportunities as well as resource and referral services are also available.
  • Levis JCC Phyllis & Harvey Sandler Center, where adults of all ages connect with friends and others who share similar interests in educational programs, cultural experiences, travel, social events and more.

For more information on becoming a Golf Classic sponsor or player, please contact Lauren Koblick at (561) 852-3257 or laurenk@levisjcc.org. To register online, please visit www.levisjcc.org/golf.

New Turf fields at Patch Reef Park

New turf fields

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:     Melissa Dawson

        mdawson@mybocaparks.org

Patch Reef Park’s New Turf Fields Draw Rave Reviews

BOCA RATON – Todd Deering heard plenty of positives about the new artificial turf fields being installed at Boca Raton’s Patch Reef Park.

On Saturday Sept. 7, when the Boca Raton Braves played on those fields for the first time, he found that the new surface exceeded the hype..

“This is incredible. This is awesome,” said Deering, President of the Braves youth football organization. “The kids actually came out for the first time on it today, loved it. Loved the feel of it. It’s basically like real grass, too. Safety wise the kids are loving it. We love it.”

When complete, the $4 million Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District project that began in March will create three new turf fields for community use in place of what previously were natural turf fields. 

The new turf fields require less maintenance, affording more time for play. And the new drainage system underneath the fields eliminates the need to cancel games because of soggy fields.

Two of the multi-purpose fields are already complete, with the third scheduled to open by the end of the month. Fields will have permanent lines for football, lacrosse and soccer, but can be used for most any sport that requires a field.

“In response to resident needs and requests, the District designed and developed the fields to extend and elevate the recreational experiences of our community,” District Commissioner Bob Rollins said. “These fields will not require the extensive downtime for maintenance, hold up terrific in our tropical climate and give our youth the experience of playing on a professional level surface. We are excited that the project is coming to a close and look forward to the community enjoying the fields.” 

Located on Yamato Rd. just west of Military Trail, Patch Reef Park also offers baseball fields, softball fields, outdoor basketball courts, outdoor tennis courts, a fitness trail, a playground with a splashpad and picnic pavilions

Patch Reef’s Ultrablade MX turf field, manufactured by Sprinturf, features a natural filler as opposed to the rubber pellets poured on top of most similar artificial surfaces. Composed mostly of coconut husk and cork, the natural fill keeps the field cooler than the rubber-filled fields that have been known to get so hot in South Florida that they melt shoes. Because it’s organic, the GreenPlay fill is also better for the environment.

“It doesn’t hold a lot of heat,” said coach Willie Dublin, whose 8-and-under Braves christened the new field with a 33-6 victory over the Deerfield Rattlers. “It’s really top-quality turf.”

Softer than actual dirt, the natural fill makes for a safer field, providing a cushier landing for participants.

“We do travel away to some other turf fields and they are like concrete,” Deering said. “We’re happy to be back home at Patch Reef.”

ABOUT THE GREATER BOCA RATON BEACH AND PARK DISTRICT: The District is committed to the acquisition and development of parks and recreation facilities. It seeks to provide entertaining and engaging leisure, educational, athletic and cultural activities to all of its residents and guests. The District owns multiple recreational facilities and/or parks in the Boca Raton area, including Sugar Sand Park, Patch Reef Park, the Swim and Racquet Center and Ocean Strand. In addition, through interlocal agreements with the City of Boca Raton, it funds the operating expenses of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, Red Reef Park, Spanish River Athletic Facilities and Mizner Bark Dog Park.

FAU Football – Fun But Growing Pains

We attended FAU’s big football game with UCF this weekend. Based on that experience we see a lot of positive signs, but there are some gaps that will hopefully be fixed. The most glaring was a failure to have an adequate supply of water and other hydrating beverages.

But let’s start with the positive. We got there a few hours before game time and the parking lots were full of people tailgating. People were well behaved and having a good time.

As a ballpark guess we’d estimate there were 20,000 fans inside the stadium for the game. It was a big crowd, making a lot of noise, and again we saw mostly good behavior and people enjoying themselves.

The game itself was a little rough. UCF crushed FAU 48-14. You have to remember that UCF is one of the best college football teams in the country. This follows FAU’s 45-21 loss to Ohio State, another big-time college football program.

While the scores don’t look good, it’s actually very impressive that FAU was able to get some stops against these high powered offenses and move the ball somewhat against very tough defenses. FAU quarterback Chris Robison did a great job getting away from pressure.

Coach Lane Kiffin and FAU Football deserve credit for taking on such strong competition early in the season. Fans have a lot to look forward to for the rest of the season and going forward into the next few years. Fans should be optimistic about how FAU will do within the less competitive Conference USA. If Kiffin can recruit just a few more top quality players that could make a world of difference.

Outside of the game itself, the event was mostly run well. There was a large police presence and the police were friendly and helpful. It’s a nice stadium and there seems to be ample parking.

Traffic management seemed to be okay on our way out. On the way in it could have been better. At 4 pm when we arrived traffic entering the campus from Spanish River Blvd was backed up creating conflict from cars coming from different directions. Despite the substantial police presence, there were no officers at that major intersection. We heard from a friend who got to the campus at 5:30 pm that traffic was so bad she didn’t get to her seat until the second quarter.

Getting into the stadium was slow going and not well organized. FAU should have more staff at the entry points, and maybe some kind of ropes or “corrals” to make this process smoother. Cell coverage was spotty as the towers were probably overwhelmed. The stadium Wifi was iffy. It worked most of the time but there were times when it said the access point was full.

The water situation was unacceptable. During the second quarter two of us went downstairs to buy some water. It was a very long wait, as you can see in the picture below.

Subway is the vendor covering the south area of FAU Stadium

It was a roughly 15 minute wait to get to the front of the line. We then learned that they were out of water. We were able to get a few bottles of Gatorade but they were almost out of that. I walked around while my friend waited in line. I didn’t find anywhere with better options.

This is South Florida in early September. It was 90 degrees at game time and probably hotter in the stadium. You have 20,000 people sitting out in the sun in 90 degree heat. There is not much excuse for making people wait 15 minutes to pay $3 for a 10 cent bottle of water and then running out of it.

Making this worse, it is FAU policy that fans cannot bring their own food or drinks into the game, and if they leave (to go to their cars to get water) they are not allowed back into the stadium – no reentry.

We reached out to FAU about this and to their credit they responded quickly, though we’re not fully satisfied with their answers.

Q: Why was FAU unprepared to supply water (and other hydrating drinks like Gatorade) to a crowd it knew would be so large?

A: Our concession vendors prepared for the crowds with water and other hydrating drinks, due to the large crowd we did have some stands that had to be restocked with water and other beverages throughout the game, which meant that some stands might not have had those specific beverages for a time while being restocked. Moving forward we will be taking a look at all of our concessions protocols which include looking at additional ways to provide water inside and outside of the stadium.

Note that the Subway did not appear to be restocked with water or Gatorade. We left the game in the middle of the fourth quarter and their cooler had no water and no Gatorade. To be fair to FAU, at least some responsibility for this probably falls on Subway.

Q: Is it correct that fans are not allowed to bring their own water bottles into games? If so please explain the reason for this policy.

A: There is no outside food and drink allowed in FAU Stadium but fans are allowed to bring in an empty cup to utilize the water fountains. This policy is consistent with the policies of most FBS facilities.

Notice that they did not explain the reason for this policy. It seems pretty clear that the reason is to make money selling 10 cent water bottles for three dollars, and other beverages for more. Beer vendors didn’t run out of beer, and were not selling water. Saying that other programs have the same policy is the kind of answer you’d expect from a small child.

Q: It also appears that fans can not leave (say to get water from their cars) and return to the game. Is that also correct?

A: Yes, our stadium policy is that there is no re-entry. Once you are admitted (ticket scanned) into FAU Stadium, you may not exit the stadium and re-enter using the same ticket. If you have an emergency and must depart the stadium, fans can visit the fan services locations near sections 114 and 125 where a Fan Services representative can address the situation. This policy is consistent with the policies of most FBS institutions.

No re-entry is a pretty common policy. That doesn’t mean it’s the right policy. They could make a security argument, but there was plenty of security at the stadium and no reason they can’t check people coming back in.

Q: Does FAU plan to change how it handles this in the future? If so, how?

A: With anticipation of larger crowds becoming the norm at FAU Football Stadium we will be doing a meticulous evaluation of all of our gameday policies and procedures to make sure that we are providing a first class gameday experience for our fans. Through evaluation we will make the necessary adjustments and additions to our gameday protocol.

We are hopeful FAU will follow through on this. With a million dollar a year football coach and an athletic director making $300K, FAU fans are entitled to expect better performance, and not just on the field.

I tweeted about the water issue during the game and got some response from both FAU and UCF fans.

Update: Thanks to Jake Elman we see that AD Brian White did tweet about the stadium issues. Click on the tweet and read the replies.

Red Sox Sign West Boca’s Zach Schneider

West Boca native Zach Schneider, a pitcher, signed with the Boston Red Sox as a free agent:

Schneider grew up in the Waterways subdivision of Boca Winds at the far west end of Palmetto Park Road, across the street from his first school, Waters Edge Elementary. He may have attended Loggers’ Run Middle School but we haven’t confirmed that yet. We know he pitched in the summer for the West Boca Snappers.

He moved on to American Heritage Delray, Polk State College (2017 Team MVP) and had an outstanding run at FAU.

We reached out to family and family friends.

So proud of Zach for all his focus and dedication to fulfill his dream since he was a little boy.

Lisa Oken, family friend

Zach was good friends with my daughter throughout elementary school and middle school. I always knew he would make it. He was dedicated to baseball at such a young age, I remember my daughters half-day pool parties – Zach always came late and was always in his baseball uniform! Great kid and an amazing family! Well deserved! Way to go Zach! 

Gail Nobile Field, neighbor and family friend

Schneider had his own comment on Instagram:

We wish him good luck on his journey.

Palm Beach and Broward Youth Go the Distance with Pop Warner Football and Cheer

The 2018 season has been an especially exciting one for the youth football players and cheerleaders in Boca Raton, Florida.  The Boca Braves, a non-profit Pop-Warner youth league, has had four of their football teams make it to the Pop-Warner Superbowl playoffs this season, and all three of their cheer squads are advancing to the Southeast Regional Pop-Warner Cheer Competition in Orlando at the end of November.
This past weekend, their Junior Varsity football team played  in the second round of Superbowl playoffs at Tropical Park in Miami at 4 pm.  While some Palm Beach and Broward leagues receive city funding, the Boca Braves rely on registration fees, fundraising and the support of local organizations to pay for travel costs, field permits, referees, uniforms, and equipment.  With over 35% of their players receiving full or partial scholarships to cover registration, funding needs continue to be a challenge.
“This league does more than coach football and cheer,” explains Mark Sainmervil, President of the Boca Braves.  “We teach discipline, sportsmanship, and the importance of teamwork.  Plus, youth sports give our children a much-needed outlet.”
To support the Boca Braves, consider donating to their GoFundMe page, or visit BocaBraves.com to inquire about sponsorship and volunteer positions.
About the Boca Braves:
Boca Braves Pop Warner Youth Tackle Football & Cheerleading is a non-profit organization that serves almost 150 of Palm Beach and Broward County youth aged 5 to 15 years old. The league seeks to provide fun athletic learning opportunities for children while emphasizing the importance of academic success.  Specifically, Pop Warner seeks to familiarize players and spirit participants with the fundamentals of tackle football, cheerleading, and dance. Pop Warner strives to inspire youth, regardless of race, creed or national origin, to practice the ideals of sportsmanship, scholarship and physical fitness as reflected in the life of the late Glenn Scobie “Pop” Warner.