Giving Back

Circle of Friends Annual Golf Outing: Time to Sign Up to Tee Off for Worthwhile Cause

A group of Circle of Friends-HYDAS members recently enjoyed hip hop dance night, complete with a DJ, at Taylor Pavilion in Belmar. Credits: Circle of Friends-HYDAS

BELMAR, NJ — An afternoon on the links and an evening of enjoyment is on tap for the Circle of Friends-HYDAS annual golf outing on Tuesday, July 17 at Jumping Brook Country Club in Neptune.

Traditionally the largest fundraiser for the all-volunteer organization, the outing will feature a round of golf with a 1 p.m. shotgun start, as well as lunch and dinner served buffet-style at 6:30 p.m.

As for entertainment, “the kids will be there,” said Robert Cupoli, who with his wife, Carol, co-founded the group, which organizes social activities to help young adults with Down syndrome (HYDAS) or other mental and physical challenges.

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The Cupolis have been on this mission from the heart for 24 years. When their son, David, who has Down syndrome, turned 21 and was no longer in school, they had difficulty finding activities for individuals with special needs. So they joined with other parents in the same situation to establish a “circle of the love” where these individuals could enjoy fun times together.

Today, there are some 250 young adults who belong to the Belmar-based group and another 100 members in the Bloomfield area, where the Cupolis began the group before moving to the borough.

The golf outing has grown into becoming its most-important fundraiser — fully supporting the many events and activities planned throughout the year, including dances, bowling, karaoke, graduation parties, sporting events, among a host of others.

“One hundred percent of donations go directly to the kids,” Cupoli said.

And it’s only getting better, as funds raised through event registration, sponsorships and a raffle, as well as donations from individuals and businesses, have been on the upswing.

“The money we raised last year beat the year before and we’re hoping to beat that this year,” Cupoli said.

To date, a total of 140 persons have registered for golf, dinner or both. While registration for golf and dinner continues, the Circle of Friends is also looking for more event sponsors. The cost is $175 for golf and dinner, and $40 for dinner only. A corporate hole sponsorship is $500, a full-page in the event program is $150, and a friendship sponsorship is $75.

To register, become a sponsor or make a donation, contact Cupoli at 973-809-5104 or email

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