17th Annual Sam Strause Golf Tournament to Benefit Levine JCC Oasis Program

By Anne Douglas Miller

The 17th Annual Sam Strause Invitational Golf Tournament will be held on August 12 at Raintree Country Club. This event is one of the biggest fundraisers that the Levine JCC hosts every year, with 100% of the proceeds supporting the Levine JCC Oasis Program. The tournament is played in honor of Sam Strause, a founder of the tournament and a passionate advocate for adult programming. Sammy Strause’s life revolved around four things: love of his family, Judaism, giving back to the Jewish community, and golf. As a long-term member of Raintree Country Club, it is an honor to be playing this particular golf tournament at a club that was so special to Sammy.

The Oasis program, which will benefit from the tournament, offers intellectual, social, and physical programming for adults 60 and older. It brings people together for activities such as exercise classes, kosher lunches, discussion groups, book clubs, and holiday celebrations. Oasis functions like a family, where participants form special bonds and care for one another. They see each other outside of regular Oasis programming and check on each other when people are absent. One Oasis participant stated, “My family has lived in Charlotte for 22 years and the J has always been the hub of so much of the community, welcoming to everyone. Of all the wonderful programs, the one my husband and I consider the best of the best, the Oasis Enrichment Program.”

Under the leadership of Jill Lipson, director of adult life, and Sharri Benjamin, adult life coordinator, the Oasis program has become a premier daytime enrichment program, welcoming participants regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, or gender identity. The same participant added, “Once anyone meets Jill Lipson, you immediately understand why the program is beloved by every participant. Along with her staff, Shari Benjamin and Mario, Jill continues, year after year, to deliver a very successful program. Jill directs Oasis with her heart. Everything she plans for her participants is done with intention that every person feels welcomed and included.”

Lisa Strause Levinson, current board president of the Levine JCC and daughter of Sam Strause, shared the history of the Alene and Sam Strause Endowment for Senior Programming, which was created in 2017 to support the Oasis program. “The endowment honors the memory of my parents, my dad’s love of golf, and my parents’ dedication and gratitude of our Jewish community. It was an easy yes for me! Growing up in our home, I heard repeatedly from my parents, mostly my dad how it was our obligation and responsibility to always support and take care of our Jewish community, because he believed no one else would if we didn’t. Today I am proud to be a small part of supporting our senior population to provide vibrant educational and social programming along with hot kosher lunches.”

Registration is now open for the 17th Annual Sam Strause Golf Tournament. To register as a player or find out more about sponsoring the event, visit charlottejcc.org/golf. If you have an item to contribute to the silent auction, please contact Anne Douglas Miller at (704) 944-6724 or email [email protected]. Thank you for your support in making this event a success!

Photo caption: Oasis participants enjoyed an outing to Hot Glass Alley

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