There were living legends all over Glocester Country Club Monday afternoon.
They came from all points and as far away as Florida to play the annual Gary V. Mazzie Memorial/Johnston High School Athletic Hall of Fame Golf Tournament at picturesque Glocester Country Club.
Edward L. “Ed” DiSimone, a.k.a. “Papa Panther” – the man who started sports at the small suburban school during his tenure on Cherry Hill – came home to offer whatever help he could to make sure Monday’s golf go-round was a special success.
At one point prior to tee-off, DiSimone spent time with coaching icons Richard Hagopian and Jim Brumbaugh, just to name a few.
“This is like a huge Johnston High School reunion,” Dennis Quaranta, a member of the tournament committee who once played football for the Panthers, said. “The weather’s great; Gary must be looking down on us and smiling.”
For it was the late Mazzie, whose career as a teacher, coach and athletic administrator at JHS spanned 40 years, who founded the Athletic Hall of Fame that will be further perpetuated by the $2,000 some 51 golfers raised by way of Monday’s tournament.
“Although we had two groups (of golfers) drop out at the last minute, today was another success in memory of our great and late friend Gary Victor Mazzie,” Jim Hopkins, the tourney chairman who offered. “But we couldn’t do this without our sponsors; we can’t thank them enough for their continued support.”
The sponsor’s list included The Original Italian Bakery and in his always special way, owner Don DePetrillo provided the playing field and committee members with his famous pizza chips that were available prior to tee off.
Dennis Parillo, who owns and operates Vgolf360.com gave the committee $500 in memberships at his new business.
Thus, Hopkins heaped words of praise upon the sponsors and donors, beginning with The Hartwell Family and an In Memoriam of Stephen Gaskin, who was inducted into the JHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2016.
The list also included: Ortho Foundry, Anthony Deluise, MD; Johnston Youth Sports, Johnston Adult Sports, In Memory of Gary V. Mazzie, Love Lee; Comella’s Auto body, The Desmarais Family, DiSarro-Anderson Law Office and Matt DiIorio, Hall of Fame 2017.
Also, Daniel E. Mazzulla Scholarship Fund, Welch Family, One Financial Engineering, Inc., Graham Builders, Joe Casali Engineering, Inc., Mark Mercurio/Go East Promotions, LW/FMLAW.COM, Lauren Wilkins Attorney, Hurd Buick-Chevrolet-GMC Truck, State Representative Stephen Ucci, Automatic Temperature Controls and Beltone Hearing Center, Mark Zarrella.
The foursome of Joe Hopkins, Jack Oscarson, John Ryan and Bob Avizinis captured top honors with a score of 57 and will have their names engraved on a special plate that will soon be attached to the traveling trophy that was on display Monday.
The foursome of Lisa Alves, Brenda Plasse, Bob Plasse and Ron Lamoreaux captured honors in the Mixed Division with Ales and Jim Hopkins taking home closest the pin honors for women and men. Bruce Vitner won closest to the sign and Ron DeFusco had the longest putt.