Southern 33 Athletic Club Continues Tradition of Ron Emmert Golf Tournament

Tickets Still Available for Club’s Crane’s Surf City Hotel Reunion
Jul 18, 2018

More than 100 golfers teed off for the 26th Annual Ron Emmert Invitational Golf Tournament in late June, continuing a tradition that was set to end last year. “The 25thwas supposed to be the last one,” said Mike Kaiser, president of the Southern 33 Athletic Club, which hosts the event. An upwelling of interest, though, kept the tradition alive.

The tournament, which benefits Southern Regional High School student-athletes, is named for former teacher and football coach Emmert, who passed away in March 2014. Emmert began working at Southern in 1964, taking over as head coach of the football team in 1971, after serving as an assistant. He was at the helm until 1986, then returned as an assistant coach again in 1994, remaining with the team until around 1997.

Friends, former players and fellow coaches describe Emmert as a fair, honest family man with great integrity, conviction and athletic talent.

“I was very fortunate to be Coach Emmert’s captain of the 1977 football team,” Kaiser stated. “Being coached by him made everything in my life easier, because he was such a great leader.”

On the occasion of the dedication of Southern’s football field in Emmert’s name, longtime friend and fellow teacher and coach Tony Sermarini said Emmert was a dedicated coach who treated his players like he treated his family – he listened, he gave advice, he showed compassion. “He did everything right. Everything was above board.”

“He was a great football coach and … also a really good person,” said another close friend and colleague, Dave DiEugenio.

For this year’s golf tournament, held June 29 at the Atlantis Country Club in Tuckerton, “The weather was beautiful,” said Kaiser. “And the food, catered by Joey’s Pizza and Pasta, was tremendous. Beach Haven Moose donated the grounds for the dinner.

“Everyone was really happy to be together, and to honor the memory of Coach Emmert,” he added.

The foursome of Michael Clark, Ray Simmons, Bob Slatcky and Bob Hoover won the tourney, which was sponsored by former Rams football player Curtis Dowell; John Tilton, another former player and owner of Tilton Construction; and Ronald Marinucci, NFL line judge 107.

Kaiser, a fan of inside jokes, noted, “The participants were very upset that one of the tournament’s most famous golfers, Robert Aftanis, was unable to attend as he is now building portable bars in Beach Haven.”

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As Kaiser also pointed out, tickets are still available for an upcoming Southern 33 Athletic Club event, the “Reunion of Crane’s Surf City Hotel, with Jackie Vee and Paul Presto.” The event will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, July 28 at the Beach Haven Moose Lodge 1575 in Manahawkin.

Kaiser tended bar at the Surf City Hotel in the 1970s, and the club held many of its annual golf tournament dinners there over the years.

Tickets are $50 per person and include a buffet meal as well as beer, wine and soft drinks.

Attendees should don their dancing shoes and prepare to sing along with Jackie and Paul, who entertained crowds at the Surf City Hotel every summer for more than 27 years. The duo is emerging from retirement for this special appearance.

“Jackie Vee and Paul Presto are looking for the Brothers of Love and the Ghostbusters,” who used to come to the establishment every Sunday, in hopes they’ll attend the event, Kaiser said.

And, he quipped, former owner Hank Crane “would like to see Jim Forsythe there so he can flag him one last time.”

Transportation will be available following the event; attendees can get a ride to their homes from the Moose Lodge via Trolley Tours.

The Surf City Hotel has built up a loyal following over the years. As noted on the establishment’s website, surfcityhotel.com, “The hotel is one of the oldest structures on Long Beach Island; the original structure was built in the late 1800s.” Like the borough of Surf City, the hotel changed names multiple times; it was first the Mansion House, then Long Beach Inn, then Marquette Hotel. In the early 20th century, it was renamed the Surf City Hotel.

The site adds, “The hotel has a colorful history, with fabulous parties,” many of them headlined, of course, by Jackie Vee and Paul Presto.

For reunion tickets, call Kaiser at 609-384-1511.  —J.K.-H.

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