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If Mother Nature cooperates, we will all be at Meadowbrook Golf Course on Thursday, July 19 to play nine holes on the gorgeous land we all hope will remain green forever. I have had the pleasure of co-chairing the Golf Classic for the past 13 years, initially with former Councillor Allan J. Levine and then Sam Goldbloom. Allan, Sam and I are extremely proud of how we took an event which was beginning to experience a significant drop in registration and turn it into a sold out affair months in advance. We opened up registration to people of all ages and more importantly chose to select an annual honouree. While the golf is a lot of fun, the luncheon became the real big draw. So when we had to put off the golf portion on July 5, the show very much went on. Councillor Dida Berku was my co-chair this year and how appropriate given the decades of work she had put in to keep Meadowbrook free from development. Our honouree was long-time community leader and volunteer Joe Presser, a man I consider a good friend and a true supporter of mine in District 2 from day one of my time on council. But he was often the man behind the scenes, not getting his deserving day in the sun. Michael Maislin fourth from the right is thanked for his sponsorship. This is one of the programming arrangements Cammy and Fishman implemented a few years ago and it provides a great opportunity to mingle and get an early start on things. Marc Ezerzer and Hagai Brener are thanked for being title sponsors. They provided guests with caps and made a generous donation to the event. Silver Star Mercedes have sponsored a car at the 11th hole in one contest. Someone will get that car for a weekend. Pierre Brunet from McDonald's, the absolute gentleman. Harold and I brainstormed and came up with the Fund, which provides bursaries for families which may not have the means to send their kids to camp or register for a program. This has taken off like a rocket. Not only have funds come in from McHappy Day, but we have connected this cause to the Golf Classic Pierre was an honouree a few years ago as well. They sell the cups and proceeds now go to the Fund. Cammy told the story of a refugee family from Nigeria that just moved to CSL with no money to send their kids to camp. Thanks to the Fund their three kids are having an amazing summer. I have been associated with this Golf Classic as luncheon emcee for decades, but I only began golfing upon being elected to council and co-chairing the event. The owners of the land have wanted to develop housing here for years. Likewise on the Front Nine, which is on Lachine territory. Councillor Berku noted that in the Agglomeration Council of Montreal adopted can urban plan for the island and declared Meadowbrook as recreational greenspace. He became the head coach the following year, a position he held for seven years. In Berlin, he led the club to its first two championships. As general manager and coach of the Nordiques he made the historic trade that sent Eric Lindros to Philadelphia in exchange for a group of star players, including Peter Forsberg. He shared with us that he almost became the GM of the Canadiens. Mannie Young auditions for Just For Laughs. At the age of 8 and living on City Hall Avenue, Joe and his six siblings sadly lost their father and survival skills at a very young age were untimely thrust upon Joe. He quickly honed his leadership and athletic skills there and became a dear friend to many, some if whom are here to pay tribute to Joe. However there was a time for play and more importantly a time to help support the family. So at the tender age of 16 he left school and did what most Jewish boys at that time did for a living. He started off as a shipper and then was given a sample bag and a territory and told by his boss to go out and sell and return home only with a bag full of orders. So Joe quickly sensing victory forgot about the past due receivables and triumphantly began to write the orders. Was the boss ever going to be impressed. Needless to say, the homecoming displayed by his boss could have been a little more receptive. And Joe quickly learned that writing orders was easy, but getting paid is a whole different ball game which begs the question was the account ever shipped Joe? After a few seasons of abuse and schlepping samples on the road , Joe and a colleague soon took over ownership of the firm and quickly grew it to a prominant and leading mens and boys clothing firm. Son Mitchell lives in Michigan. It was also nice to see the Blumer family on hand for they are part of the Presser clan. The Presser and Blumer families take part in a group photo. He is a fabulous individual whom as a youngster worked as a shipper at Cooper Clothing and eventually bought the company. In I was hired as the national director of communications for Canadian Jewish Congress. I called Joe and went to see him as I needed some nice suits to wear for work. He took care of me like I was his own son. When I first ran for office in , he took me door to door to every resident in his building. Last November, 12 years later, he did the same thing — quite impressive for a man who is 80 years young and thankfully in very good shape. A look at the fabulous cake Moshe Engler made. Before Joe spoke to the audience, Alvin Fishman rolled out the big surprise — a cake shaped like a business suit made by the one and only Chef Moshe Engler. We then watched a nice photo montage on the screen put together by our Public Affairs and Communications guru Darryl Levine. For the door prizes, it was nice to have Allan J. Levine and Sam Goldbloom emcee that portion of the program. There was a nice assortment of gifts available. The invaluable Harold Cammy shares some words. As well, hats off to Robin Chemtov on the keyboard. So now we hope for good weather on July I know Joe is already practicing his putts.
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