RED HOOK - The third annual Eric Holt Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Saturday, September 19 at the Red Hook Golf Club in conjunction with the 40th Anniversary of the founding of the Unification Theological Seminary (September 20, 1975).
Trophies and prizes were handed out following the event at a dinner at UTS, Barrytown prepared by Reiko Mickler with help from Kanae Holt, Eric’s widow. Approximately 30 players and guests attended the dinner, where a raffle was held to raise funds for the Eric Holt Memorial Fund, presented to Kanae.
The raffle prize, a beautiful “shadow box” created by Shannon Forringer, displayed a photo of Rev. Moon on a light-colored background showing members the best way to make a fishing net. Part of the fishing net in the photo was also laid out in the box, which was supported by a heavy, wooden frame. Abdou Gaye (UTS’97) had the winning raffle ticket, but then, very graciously, presented the artwork to Kanae in Eric’s honor.
This year’s tournament had 13 players - divided into three teams of three and one team of four - with a “Best Ball” format, which gives less accomplished players a chance to participate without feeling too self-conscious.
A trophy was presented to the winning team as well as a small cash prize. Prizes for second place, longest drive and closest to pin were also awarded.
Not surprisingly, Fred won the longest drive competition, while his teammate, Mike, won the closest to the pin competition, which, according to Fred, “was amazing, because Mike was hitting bad shots all day.”
Mother Nature also shined down on the players, with temperatures in the mid-80s and with few clouds in the sky it was a near-perfect day to be outdoors on the links.
“It was a great day to be out there,” said Fred. “Jerry (Heying) kept making jokes, and just kept making us laugh all the time. I really felt Eric’s good-humored spirit.”
Noah Ross, a close friend of Eric, and a member of the West Rock Family Church was someone who often played golf with Eric before he passed over in May of 2013, succumbing to liver cancer. Noah spoke about Eric and his relationship with him.
“Eric was a pretty remarkable guy,” said Noah. “He loved chess and golf. He was the Scottish national chess champion when he was 19. We often got together after church on Sundays, a group of us would go (golfing) on a regular basis. He loved to stay out late.
“Nobody realized how serious it (the cancer) was. He went into the hospital and, to our surprise, he didn’t make it.”
Noah and Fred organized the first memorial tournament on Labor Day in 2013 with eight golfers; 2014 had 10 golfers and this year 13. They are hoping it will continue to be an event held in conjunction every year with the UTS Golf Tournament.
“This is a great tradition soon to be carried on,” said Noah.