It did not look promising on October 3, one day before the fifth annual Hummus Open was scheduled. The skies were gray and rain was in the forecast for this Saturday 11 AM Tee time at Mainland Golf Course. Event director Jerome Burke tried to contact Kathy Orr at CBS Eyewitness News for weather advice, but had no luck. Fortunately, he was able to reach Glen “Hurricane” Schwartz at NBC who advised to push the start time back to 1:30 PM. Moreover, the Hummus Open trophy, perhaps the most unusual trophy in all of sports, was missing in action. Traditionally, the most valuable player from the winning foursome, takes the trophy for 1 year. This was not the case last year however and last year’s MVP Raja Kyriakos never took the trophy. Once this was realized the day before the tournament, an intensive search began to locate it. The basement, barn, and attic of Cranford’s home was studied as were various rooms in the Burke house hoping against hope to find the prized possession. The office at St. Philip’s was contacted and Vera Acker looked in the most logical places and could not find the trophy. Going ahead with the Hummus Open without the Garbanzo would be like playing the Stanley Cup final without the Stanley Cup! Father Noah Bushelli was contacted on the morning of the event and retreived the trophy which was sitting on a book shelf above Father Boniface Black’s desk since last fall (approx. 10 feet from Vera’s desk, ahem) . The trophy was polished up, the skies cleared and 16 golfers – 4 foursomes began the most successful Hummus Open ever.
The Pennridge “Green Jackets”, consisting of Dr. Peter Psomiadis, Mike Heveran , Lou Sudholz, and Craig Martin, hit first, followed by the Harleysville Hurricances: Giacamo Zamperri, John Disacquino, Caleb Benner, and Pat Miller, the Millennials: Nick Burke, Chris Richter, Tim Yacoo and Brian Godshall, with the Royal Hibernians: Pat Burke, Jerome Burke, David Kelly, and Raja Kyriokas (how did he get in there?) bringing up the rear. Conditions were nearly perfect and all the participants enjoyed the fellowship and learned about the history of The King’s Jubilee, at each Tee box, by reading the inserts on the Hole Sponsors posters which were beautifully done.
Individual prizes were given to Lou Sudholz (straightest drive- a sleeve of premium golf balls – as he was one of the few players who knew what to do with them ), Peter Psomiadis (closest to the pin – 9th hole) – a bottle of Ouzo bought at the State Store (He prefers the real stuff that he smuggles through Kennedy Airport every 2 years from Greece), Lou Sudholz again for longest drive (He won a container of Karen Burke’s famous homemade Hummus – (not the knock-off stuff sold in Costco or Giant) and Chris Richter – winner of the closest to the hole on the 17th hole – again a bottle of Ouzo. Nick Burke won the prize for the best putt of the day. The Hurricanes won competition go away carding a 5 under par 65. A fierce battle for second place between the Pennridge squad and the Millennials ensued with the experienced Pennridge team coming out on top. The Hibernians were not far behind and may have been in the thick of the competition had they not missed so many short putts. The older Burke brother (Jerome) was overheard saying that his new putter from Golf Galaxy was working great until he took it home. Caleb Benner was voted the MVP of the winning team and was given the coveted “beige jacket ” for his efforts. The awards ceremony was held in the golf course parking lot .
On a serious note, we are very grateful to all the participants and sponsors of this year’s Hummus Open to help The King’s Jubilee in caring for the homeless of Philadelphia. It was troubling to learn of financial hardship that The King’s Jubilee and Cranford and his family have been experiencing. As a small business owner ( partner in a medical practice)- we’ve experienced months where our cash flow slows from factors beyond our control- weather forcing us to close the office, patients waiting on paying their deductibles early in the year, every so often. It is inconvenient but no big deal even if the partners hold their own paycheck for a period or two. There is always a line of credit for us at our community bank . The King’s Jubilee, however, does not enjoy this same luxury and the process of making ends meet to serve the needy is a week to week , if not a day to day challenge. While it is wonderful that special events and one time donations help this ministry, it would healthier if there were a steady, more predictable stream of support. To this end, I invite you to join my wife and I, and consider making a monthly pledge to TKJ. It does not have to break the bank. If enough people participate, and do what they can do, what a blessing it would be! If you have read this much, thank you.