Food for thought Charity Golf Tournament on The Ocean Course

Chef Jonathan Banta, Mickey Bakst and Pietro Giardini

On Monday, January 30th, The Ocean Course hosted the Food for Thought Polar Bear Charity Golf Tournament to benefit Charleston Chefs Feed the Need, an organization devoted to providing food service and funding to four local non profits such as Tricounty Family Ministries, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Crisis Ministries and Neighborhood House.

The inception of the event was last winter when a group of local Restaurateurs and Food & Beverage professional took advantage of a slow Monday in January and gathered at The Ocean Course, site of this year’s PGA Championship, to play a round of golf and have some good times. Little did they know that the previous night would be one of the coldest in records, with temperatures dropping to 18 degrees. Needless to say that made for a really interesting round of golf, complete with frozen ground, impermeable to tees, golf balls bouncing off of frozen ponds and a few shots of whiskey to keep the blood flowing. Despite the extreme weather it was a day to remember and everyone said that it would be great to make this an annual event.  So, when this past fall talks started about organizing a second installment, Pietro Giardini, Food & Beverage Manager at The Ocean Course thought it would have been great to be able to pair such a great day of fun with some good deeds. With the help of Chef Jonathan Banta, they reached out to Mickey Bakst, who started Charleston Chefs feed the Need, to offer their help. In just a few weeks, mostly through grassroots efforts, they reached out to the Restaurant/Hospitality community to promote the event.

The outpouring of support was huge form the get go but, knowing the community, not surprising, with people rushing to register their teams and whomever was not able to participate donated product, gift certificate or time to this great cause. So just this past Monday, 25 teams and 100 players later, we had the tournament. It was a Kiawah spectacular day with temperature in the mid 60’s and that bright sunlight that seems to be more intense and vibrant in this corner of the world… a perfect day for golf. The best part of the day however was the fact that enough money was raised to serve more than 6500 meals to the needy of the Lowcountry. Who thought that making such great deeds was that easy and fun?

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