Date: December 21, 2013
Author: Jack Newton Celebrity Classic

Farewell from the Jack Newton Classic till next year

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After three full days of parties, sun and golf, the 35th Annual The Jack Newton Celebrity Classic has come to a close for another year.

The professional winner of the two day event, Aron Price, played a sensational game setting a course record shooting a 61 on the first day of play. He birdied 12 holes, including his seven final shots of the first day and came in 11 under. He also set a tournament record by closing out the second day of play 16 under par. So dedicated is Aron to the game that he didn't even have time to stay for the presentation that night as he was heading off straight away to do some work at another event the following morning.

During the presentations, Donna Barlow spoke about her daughter, Danii Meads-Barlow, who passed away from complications as a result of diabetes the week she began her HSC. It was a reminder of the underlying reason why such a huge crowd gathers at Cypress Lakes Resort every December.

During the two-day golf tournament 60 new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in Australia, a deadly disease reaching epidemic levels in this country and at this stage with no cure.

The Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation also benefits from funds raised at the event. Money obviously very well spent when you look at the calibre of players who have come through its ranks, including this year's winner Aron Price, Sarah Kemp, Kurt Barnes, Julian Reynolds and last year's winner Brendan Smith.

The Classic is also the perfect opportunity to show off Jack's home ground, the Hunter Valley, which is a perfect holiday destination.

Minister for Tourism and Major Events, and Minister for the Hunter, George Souris, said "The Classic is a great addition to the NSW Summer Events calendar, providing a boost to both the local economy, research into diabetes and the Jack Newton Junior Golf Foundation."

"With over three million dollars collected since 1979, the government recognises that this event is far more than just a golf tournament, providing many lasting benefits to the community."

At the farewell dinner on Wednesday night, the awards were handed out after which the winners were all sent straight from the stage to the pool to jump in fully clothed (after checking their pocket for wallets and mobile phones). This is something that has become a tradition over the years started by Gary Sweet.

After Jack thanked his tournament director, Judy Brady and The Chantoozies, who had performed earlier in the evening, with some encouragement from the crowd, they all ended up in the pool.

In an impromptu moment on stage which could only happen at ‘The Jack’ after all the formalities were over, people began to take the stage with the house band and Newcastle locals, Rubber Bullet.

Plenty of house hold names grabbed the microphone including Gary Sweet, Wilbur Wilde, Ben Mingay and Michael Dorman from Wonderland who plays a mean harmonica.

The Chantoozies returned to the stage, wet hair and all, and the crowd danced till the earlier hours of the morning. Even the former Prime Minister Bob Hawke was spotted on the dance floor.

The phrase commonly heard by the end of the night was “Book me in for next year!”

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To check out some of the great photos from the 2013 event head over to The Jack Newton Celebrity Classic Facebook page.

To get a glimpse behind the scenes of this year’s tournament, a one hour special will air on Channel 9 on Sunday 12 January. Check your local listings for details.