Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Farewell Celebration at Victoria Park West

As I've mentioned in a previous post, our sister course, Victoria Park West, will be closing at the end of this season. On Sunday August 28th they held a "farewell celebration" open house for the public, members and staff past and present, and (of course) family. It was a great day, well attended, and some of us played a final 9-holes at this wonderful executive golf course. The West course remains fully open until the end of the season, but they wanted to get this Farewell in before back-to-university, back-to-work etc. robbed a bunch of participants.There were tables with old photos and memorabilia, and owner Ted DeCorso and his family were on hand the whole time, to host the event and welcome the guests. There were a few tears, but Ted and his family were upbeat and happy - looking forward to moving on to the new Victoria Park Valley course next spring. I couldn't help but feel a pang of nostalgia. My first job in 1969, at the tender age of eight, was at the West course: I picked the driving range by hand (borrowed my grandmother's rubber gloves) and did some sweeping and tidying, all for the fabulous wage of a chocolate bar and a can of pop! Plus, the West course was a haven for junior golfers in the region, so as a kid I made a lot of friends there. It will certainly be missed, but I share Ted's positive outlook in "moving on to bigger and better things..."

West Course owners Beverly and Ted DeCorso. Cheers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The End of an Era

Louise DeCorso from Victoria Park East Golf Club (left) with

Maria Colaizzi from Chatelaine Lighting

On August 18, Victoria Park East and West Golf Clubs held our annual Chatelaine Lighting Ladies Invitational for the 38th time! The event was sold-out at both courses, and is certainly one of the biggest and longest-running Ladies invitationals in Ontario... maybe even Canada.
This was, though, the last time that Chatelaine Lighting of Guelph will be sponsoring the event. Although we'll miss their involvement, we certainly do not regret their decision; 38 years is a remarkable and generous run, and in that time this event has raised many thousands of dollars for cancer research and, most recently, for St. Margaret's Hospital.
My sister Louise gave an excellent speech at the tournament. Here's a portion of that speech:

"The tournament was the idea of Louis Jansen, owner of Chatelaine Lighting. There were few tournaments for ladies at that time and so in 1973, the first Chatelaine Lighting Ladies Invitational was held at Victoria Park Golf Club West. Sadly, Louis passed away in 1985 and graciously; his wife Diane and sister Maria Colaizzi have continued to co-sponsor the tournament. The tournament has grown tremendously over the past 38 years and we are proud to say that it is the largest ladies invitational in the province. Today we shared our love of golf and camaraderie with 164 participants here at Victoria Park East and 148 ladies at Victoria Park West. The raffle that you so generously participate in is in Louis’s memory, with all proceeds going to the Princess Margaret Hospital, Gerry & Nancy Pencer Brain Trust Fund.
We are all aware that things change in the passing of so many years. In saying that, we need to inform you that Chatelaine Lighting will no longer be the co-sponsor of the ladies invitational tournament. We have had a great working relationship with Chatelaine Lighting and the individuals there, and know that we will continue this relationship on a personal level. We will miss all the beautiful lights on the prize table and will have to work very hard to find another co-sponsor as generous as Chatelaine Lighting. We hope that you will continue to support Chatelaine Lighting if and when you are in need of lighting. In future, you will recognize the tournament as the Victoria Park Ladies Invitational."

Well said, Louise. Thanks Maria, Diane, Angela, and everybody at Chatelaine Lighting for your years of support.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Great Taste of Summer

Our annual Patio Grilling Night here at Victoria Park East was a huge success: great food and a sell-out crowd! This was our 7th event (we did one in the winter, too!) and I find it curious to note how it's progressed over the years.

Wendy Gottmers, our Banquet Manager, presented the idea when she first came on board in 2004. It started out as a "hands-on" grilling course: guests were encouraged to come up to the BBQ and lend a hand, which they did. As the years went by, we began inviting wineries to the event, to sample their fine wines. Well, that did it! Guests were having too much fun socializing, sampling the wine, and tasting the food - very few wanted to venture up to the BBQ for the hands-on part!

And so, it's no longer a grilling course, it's become a grilling show - and that's fine. Our chefs, Steve, Gerald "JJ" and Giovanni did a fabulous job. And of course, so did Wendy! Here she is discussing a wine pairing...