By Rob Potter
SOUTH FALLSBURG May 18, 2004 Nearly 50 golfers played 18 holes at Tarry Brae Golf Course on Saturday under bright, sunny skies.
While they were enjoying the opportunity to participate in one of their favorite activities, the golfers were also competing in an event to remember a man who was one of the regions most beloved politicians.
The golfers were competing in the second annual Jake Classic Golf Outing, which was organized by the Sullivan County Probation Officers Association (SCPOA) to honor the late Jacob E. Gunther III, New York State Assemblyman for the 98th District. SCPOA held the inaugural Jake Classic in October 2003, just three months after Gunther passed away following a bout with cancer.
During an awards luncheon following Saturdays golfing, SCPOA members used the proceeds from the first Jake Classic to present two $1,000 scholarships. Since the 98th Assembly District covers all of Sullivan County and a portion of Orange County, one scholarship was a awarded to a high school senior here in Sullivan County and the other to a high school senior from Orange County.
One of the requirements for the scholarship applicants was that they pursue a criminal justice-related degree in college. They also had to submit several items for scholarship consideration, including proof of grade point average, class standing, financial need, high school extracurricular activities and volunteer service towards their respective communities. The final selection was made by a committee that included SCPOA members and New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther (D-98th), who is the widow of the late Jacob Gunther III.
Allyson Strong, a member of the Monticello High School Class of 2004, was chosen as the Sullivan County scholarship recipient. She is ranked 20th in her class of 187 students, has maintained a 3.8 GPA and has performed numerous community service-based activities. Among those activities were assisting in the gathering of toys during the Holiday Toy Drive and providing reading activities for a group of disadvantaged Head Start children.
In addition, Strong played on the Monticello Lady Panther varsity soccer team for four years and coached an AYSO soccer team.
She is planning to attend St. Johns University in Queens and major in criminal justice/pre-law.
I feel honored, Strong said. Jake Gunther was a friend of our family and I am very proud to receive this scholarship.
Among those on hand to watch Allyson Strong receive the scholarship was her mother, Barbara Strong.
She echoed her daughters feelings about the scholarship.
Jake Gunther meant a lot to our family, Barbara Strong said. The fact that Allyson was selected to receive this scholarship is really special.
Barbara Strong noted that her daughter has some of the same positive personality traits and qualities the late Assemblyman had. She said that one of those characteristics is being a good listener.
The second $1,000 scholarship was awarded to Marissa Bailey, a senior at Port Jervis High School. Bailey has a 93.98 GPA and is ranked 15th among the 184 members of the Port Jervis Class of 2004.
She has participated in the Broome Street Band in Port Jervis, which provides musical entertainment in parades, nursing homes and concerts. In addition, Bailey has provided mentoring services to at-risk children in her school district, volunteered at a local hospital as a candy striper and information desk person and is a member of SADD.
She plans to pursue a degree in the criminal justice field and applied to several schools, including SUNY Albany, Northeastern University and the University of Delaware.
Unfortunately due to a prior commitment, Bailey could not attend Saturdays awards luncheon at Tarry Brae Golf Course.
Following the scholarship presentation, Aileen Gunther made some remarks.
I would like to thank each and every one of you for all of this, Aileen Gunther said to the SCPOA members.
She also noted that the weather at last Octobers inaugural golf outing was cold and rainy.
But today is more like a Jake day, she said. On a spring day like this he would be out trimming trees or planting grass. Today I know that Jake is up there, looking down on all of this and saying thank you to each of you.
Aileen Gunther then presented the Jake Cup to the winning golf team. At last autumns event, the Jake Cup was presented to the law-enforcement team that recorded the best overall score.
In October, a foursome of officers from the Sullivan County Sheriffs Department captured the trophy. On Saturday, one of the members from that sheriffs department team, Sgt. Don Prince, teamed up with three members of the Monticello Police Department to capture the Jake Cup.
Prince and his Monti PD teammates Chief Doug Solomon, Lt. William Lazarus and Officer Brian Monroe received the Jake Cup from Aileen Gunther and SCPOA member Paul DuMont, who served as Chairman of the Jake Classic Golf Outing.
It was fantastic, DuMont said of the second annual Jake Classic. It seemed like everyone had a good time.
DuMont and Jake Classic Coordinating Committee members Lou Setren and Tom Fogarty noted that they and their fellow SCPOA members had a lot of help organizing and holding the event.
We got a lot of great support from the community, DuMont said.
While several area businesses and organizations sponsored the Jake Classic Golf Outing, DuMont noted that a few really took their support of the event a step further. Among them were Ben & Jerrys Ice Cream, Brookside Homes and Monticello Farm Home & Garden Showplace.
One of the sponsorships for the event was made in memory of Ed Olmstead. The other sponsors included: Eric Adler, Attorney at Law; Gary Berson, DDS; Combined Energy Services; Creative Techniques; Tony Cellini; Dodge Inn; Dutchs Tavern; Dr. Edward Epstein; Ferrara & Sullivan, Attorneys at Law; Gallery of the Lakes; Gillinder Glass; Great American #481; House of Lyons; Jankiewicz Law Offices; Kittatinny Campgrounds; Kodiak Sports of Monticello; Kristt Company; Asa Lennon; Neal and Dona Meddaugh; Monticello Trading Post; Ninas Restaurant; Platinum Cuts; Princess Advertising; Rock Hill Trading Post; Rusty Palmers; Schick & Havas; Steves Music Center; Sullivan County Shields, Inc.; Thompson Sanitation Corp.; Schmidts Wholesale, Inc.; Tire Discount and Van Etten Oil.
DuMont also thanked Glenn and Patti Sonnenschein and the entire staff at Tarry Brae Golf Course for hosting the event.
The organizers said they plan to make the Jake Classic Golf Outing an annual event. They plan to hold the golf outing on the third Saturday in May at Tarry Brae.
Jake was a really good friend to those of us in law enforcement and we want to continue this in his honor, DuMont said.