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Golf banquet honors longtime golfer, continues Toys for Tots collection tradition

(Nov. 7, 2023) Ninety-four people turned up on Nov. 6 to help celebrate the Ocean Pines Golf Members Council’s annual End of Season Banquet at the Clubhouse Bar and Grille.  
Among other things, the Golf Members Council oversees the members' scholarship program and hosts annual events including the Ocean Pines / Taylor Bank Scramble, the Bavarian Hops Scramble, and several social functions for the Ocean Pines golf community.
Bob Long, who assisted event organizer Don McMullen, said collecting for Toys for Tots has been a regular part of the banquet for some time, with golf member Joe Pantone overseeing that operation for perhaps two decades. 
“Bunk Machen, who worked as a starter at the Golf Club and on the maintenance staff for many years, partnered with Joe,” Long said. “I always enjoyed walking into the banquet and seeing the two of them in their red marine blazers.”
Machen passed away last year, but the Toys for Tots support has remained steadfast, with impressive collection totals each year. Pantone said more than 80 toys were collected on Monday night.  
The End of Season Banquet also served to honor Nelson Fenwick. He and his wife, Natalie, are longtime Golf Club members and also belonged to the Men’s and Ladies' Golf Associations (OPMGA and OPLGA).
“Nelson was the Men's Day Tournament chair for many years,” Long said. “He began the Sand Dawg program, where members help by filling divots and doing minor maintenance on the course. Members sign up and work on their hole every week or two. They also come out in force and help out on course aeration days. Nelson is the one who got this program started and oversaw its operation for many years.”  
Long said the couple are moving out of the area to be closer to family.  
Other guests of the banquet included Ocean Pines Association General Manager John Viola, Police Chief Tim Robinson, Golf Director Bob Beckelman, and Director of Golf Maintenance Justin Hartshorn.  
Up next, the Ocean Pines Golf Members Council will host a tree decorating party as part of the Ocean Pines Hometown Christmas celebration. 
On Jan. 19, the council will host a pizza party for members and friends of the Golf Club. Next spring, the group will celebrate the beginning of a new golf season with an Opening Day Shamble on April 6 that’s open to all Ocean Pines residents.
For more information on member-run golf groups in Ocean Pines, contact Bill Bavis (Ocean Pines Golf Members Council) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; Tammy Banachowski (OPLGA) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.;  and John Ferinde (OPMGA) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..