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3.18.16 Issue

by Gary Javitch and Howard Borden, for Henry Monsky Lodge

The B’nai B’rith is pleased to announce that David Feherty will be the keynote speaker at its May 19 62nd Annual Omaha Charity Sports Banquet.

“Over the years, our banquet has produced 62 memorable programs that showcased some of the biggest national names in sports and recognized the most talented local student athletes. Feherty continues this great tradition and is a ‘hole in one’ for a headliner,” said Howard Shandell, banquet chair.

“Feherty has parlayed charisma and golf expertise into ‘box-office’ success. The golf analyst is arguably best known as a broadcaster with a great sense of humor and the author of four New York Times best-sellers on the sport.

“The premier Golf TV personality was a standout on the links and is now a stellar on-air broadcaster with a fantastic grasp of the game. He fits our guest speaker requirements to a ‘Tee.’

“Omaha has a strong tradition of golfers that extends from Johnny Goodman to Tom Sieckmann. Now by keynoting our charity banquet, Feherty becomes a part of that tradition.

“But it gets even better,” Shandell declared, “because the popular and talented Sklar Brothers will return to serve as emcees for the evening.” The Sklar Brothers are well known for their hilarious stand-up routines, their past ESPN television series, Cheap Seats, appearing on the FX hit It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and special HBO appearances in Curb Your Enthusiasm and Entourage. “The Sklars were quite a hit last year, too.”

During the banquet, the Lodge will bestow its most prestigious awards and honor the top graduating female and male athletes from the metropolitan high school area. These athletes are nominated by local athletic directors and voted on by Omaha sports broadcasters and high school coaches. The male senior will receive the Bert Render Trophy, while the female senior picks up the Earl Siegel award. Both awards were named after historic Monsky Lodge members for their contributions to the Jewish community. In addition, the honorees will split $5,000 in scholarship money from the Adam Jacobs Memorial Tribute Scholarship Fund of B’nai B’rith, funded by the Arthur Jacobs a family whose son, a former Monsky Lodge president, died nearly eight years ago at the age of 42.

David Feherty

            The Northern Ireland-born Feherty turned professional in 1976 at just 18 years of age and spent most of his star-studded career in Europe. In Europe’s illustrious “Order of Merit,” Feherty took home five winner’s trophies and finished among the top ten twice. He represented Ireland in international competition and captained the victorious 1990 Alfred Dunhill Cup Team. The 1991 Ryder Cup team player finished his professional career on the PGA Tour in the United States in 1997.

            Feherty then capitalized on his fairway skills to move into the broadcast booth, where he  earned a great  reputation at CBS Sports as an on-air course reporter and golf analyst. After a storied 19-year career there, this year he joined NBC Sports full time with a gig that included renewing his Golf Channel TV show, a deal with Universal TV and a two-project collaboration opportunity for other projects outside golf.

In between, the golf analyst authored four best-sellers on golf, hosted his own weekly primetime talk show, Feherty on the Golf Channel and co-announced the EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour series with Jim Nantz.

Proceeds and Sponsorships

            Over the life of the banquet, proceeds have supported B’nai B’rith International’s worldwide and national goals.  And locally the Lodge is having a significant impact. “Our organization is committed to helping make participation in Jewish life activities more affordable for families in need here in Omaha,” Lodge President, Ari Riekes stated.

“Over the last two years, the Lodge has divided nearly $100,000 in proceeds from the banquet among the local synagogues, the BBYO youth group, Jewish Federation of Omaha, Jewish Community Center and the CornerStone Scholarship Fund, administered by the Federation.”

One anonymous beneficiary stated, “Thank you for the generous gift you have given our sons. Because of these opportunities, the boys have developed a deep love of their religion and have established a firm base for their identity. Your generosity adds greatly to their understanding of tzedakh.”

Another recipient said, “Thank you [B’nai B’rith] for your wonderful support for my daughter. Assistance with Friedel, summer camp and my JCC membership allows me, as a single parent, to give my child the Jewish experiences she needs. We are blessed to be a part of this beautiful community.”

Still, Ari emphasized, “We can do more. We would love to see more support from the Jewish members of the community. The more this community supports our Banquet, the more funds our local Jewish partners will receive and the greater impact we can have in reducing the financial barriers that are so often associated with participating in religious life activities.”

“An entertaining speaker and hilarious emcees will make for an exciting banquet! You will not want to miss great celebrities combined with a steak dinner, open cocktail hour, and silent auction – all while honoring student athletes and supporting a great cause,” said Riekes.

“Tee off” time is 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 19 at the CenturyLink Center.

For more information on major and participating sponsorships, or to purchase tickets to the Omaha Charity Sports Banquet, please visit www.omahasports banquet.org, call 402.333.3062, or email bnaibrith@planitomaha.com.