Couples Resorts golf tournament comes up big for charity

Couples’ Deputy Chairman Paul Issa (2nd right) and CEO Glenn Lawrence (left) present director of Animal House Maureen Sheridan (2nd left) a symbolic cheque from funds raised from the Couples Ocho Rios Charity Golf Tournament held at Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, St Mary last Sunday. Sharing in the occasion is Alex Ghisays, Group public relations director of Couples Resorts.

The Couples Resorts Ocho Rios Charity Golf Tournament has raised close to $2 million, which is to go towards the further development of a primary school in Westmoreland.

Some of Jamaica’s top golfers turned up at the charity event played at the Sandals Golf and Country Club in Upton, St Mary on Sunday.

National players like Sean Morris, Romaine Evans, Dr Mark Newnham, Jodi-Ann Barrow, Oshane Haye plus two national junior players—Mathea Issa and Aman Dhimand—strutted their stuff in the unusual Two-Man Scramble format. The team of Raymond Rhudd and Nick Tassone emerged with the best score in the Net Score section with 60 while the pair of Zandre Roye and Oshane Haye topped the Gross Score section with 62.

Raymond Rhudd
(left) and Nick Tassone (right) collecting their prize from Paul Issa, Couples Resorts’ Deputy Chairman, after topping the Net Score category with 62.

Meanwhile, Vernal Campbell won the Putting Contest while in the Closest to the Pin contest winners were: Arnette Simpson (Hole #4); Murine Blake (Hole #7); Gifford Wilmot (Hole #11); Wayne Chai Chong (Hole #13) and Tony Allison (Hole #15).

Glenn Lawrence, Couples Resorts CEO, noted that the charity golf tournament raised over $24m since its inception close to two decades ago.

“It started with our repeat guest 19 years ago when they had about 20 guests that decided to do something for the local community,” Lawrence explained. “Somewhere in the intervening years, the hotel got involved and it has grown to the fact that we ended up with just under 100 golfers and an event that now raises close to $2m. We have identified a primary school in Westmoreland which is close to one of our hotels, so we looking to do a state-of-the-art computer lab for the school.”

Couples Resorts’ Group PR director Alex Ghisays presents Anthony Smith with a brand new Samsung phone after he won the raffle. In picture is Paul Issa, deputy chairman.

Lawrence added: “It’s very encouraging because we had quite a few of the national players playing and for them, it’s not totally serious golf because it’s a two-man event. But they came and supported it and had a great time. So it is always good to see the top players, the medium players and the not so great players all toward the same event.”

Over the years, the Couples Resorts Ocho Rios Charity has raised over $24m for local charities. In October 2019, they donated US$30,000 for victims of Hurricane Dorian, that devastated The Bahamas. The Three Hill Primary School in St Mary also benefitted from funds raised at both the Negril and Ocho Rios charity golf tournaments.

Couples Resorts’ deputy chairman Paul Issa (centre) is all smiles
as he presented the winners of the Gross Score category Zandre Roye (left) and Oshane Haye.

A trailer was renovated to house the air-conditioned Resources Room completed with 10 new computers, new ergonomic office chairs and overhead projector at a total cost of $4.4m. The Animal House Jamaica, for several years, received $300,000 for upkeep. The Animal House is a non-profit organisation operating a shelter for dogs in Lydford, St Ann.