June 13, 2017
By Matt Silver
B'nai Brith Canada
AURORA, Ont. – More than 100 golfers attended the 2nd annual B’nai Brith Charity Golf Classic Monday at the Lebovic Golf Club in Aurora, Ont. The tournament featured 18 holes of golf, thousands of dollars worth of donated giveaways, the chance to mingle with celebrity guests such as Toronto Maple Leafs star Zach Hyman and NHL greats Rick Vaive, Gary Leeman and Marcel Dionne, scotch and beer samplings, and a smorgasbord of kosher food, including a post-tournament dinner emceed by NHL great and renowned comedian Dennis Hull.
The fundraiser was in support of B’nai Brith’s affordable housing and seniors programs, as well as its ongoing efforts in fighting racism, antisemitism and discrimination in Canada. B’nai Brith Canada Chief Excutive Officer Michael Mostyn said it was incredible to have received such tremendous support from the community.
“It was a great day of golf in support of B’nai Brith and all the human-rights initiatives we’ve launched across the country,” he said. “B’nai Brith is a leader in affordable housing, helping the underprivileged, and combatting antisemitism, and it’s an honour to be involved in such rewarding work.” Mostyn also thanked B’nai Brith staff, committee members, event sponsors, and its “countless volunteers” for their efforts in putting together the event.
Mostyn spent most of his day on the “Beat the CEO” hole, where golfers had the opportunity to win prizes if they could outshoot him. The 43-year-old confessed that B’nai Brith may have handed out a lot of free T-shirts because of his erratic play.
NHL icon Gary Leeman at the B'nai Brith Charity Golf Classic (Photo Credit: Sylman Photography)
The “Beat the CEO” hole was just one of many opportunities for attendees to take home some new gear. In fact, Footjoy handed out free golf shoes to everyone that came out in support. There was also a hole-in-one contest – sponsored by the Twin Hills car dealership in Richmond Hill, Ont. – to win a two-year lease on a 2017 Lincoln Navigator. There also was a putting contest, sponsored by Del Property Management Inc., among other exciting attractions.
But, in the end, it was the celebrity guests who really stole the show.
NHL Hall-of-Famer Marcel Dionne – who happened to win the aforementioned putting contest with a perfect score of 75 points – was wearing an LA Kings ball cap and toting a thick cigar in his left hand when his foursome rolled up to the 12th hole. Before he stepped into the tee box, the fifth-leading scorer in NHL history explained why he chose to support Canada’s oldest independent and self-funded Jewish organization.
“It’s the fact that B’nai Brith is involved with so many different charities and is very proactive with seniors. I’ve got a lot of Jewish friends and they do a lot for the community so it’s my pleasure to be here,” said Dionne.
Rick Vaive, the former Toronto Maple Leafs captain and the first 50-goal scorer in franchise history, was playing with an injury but still managed to win the longest drive contest.
“It’s probably from the old days, my shoulder just kind of went on me. But I’ve got a lot of Tylenol so I’m not feeling too much of it right now, and hopefully I can get through the round without too much pain,” said Vaive, who had one of those iron-grip hockey handshakes.
Showing no signs of the injury or age, he promptly knocked a 9-iron about 140 yards to the back of the green and earned himself a free T-shirt and some golf balls at Mostyn’s expense.
Then it was time to head back for dinner.
There was a considerable buzz when NHL rookie Zach Hyman arrived at the Lebovic Golf Club. The current Maple Leafs star graduated from the Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto (CHAT) and is a former participant in the B’nai Brith Canada Sports league. A proud member of the Jewish community, he was rightfully swarmed by most of the guests in attendance.
There was also Gary Leeman, who notched 51 goals for the Leafs in the 1989-90 season, looking sun-tinged and wearing a glitzy Stanley Cup ring from his win with the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Apparently, he’s a three-handicap.
Finally, Hull commanded the room with his unique brand of comedy, with pointed commentary on his family dynamics, Canadian hockey fanaticism, and some old-time NHL jokes that resonated with the hockey followers in attendance.
After an event with so many amazing celebrities and prizes, one question remains: How could B’nai Brith possibly top this next year at the 3rd Annual B’nai Brith Charity Golf Classic?
We’ll just have to wait to find out.
To view photos from the event, click here.