WEST ORANGE, NJ – Shortly after the West Orange Scholarship Fund (WOSF) announced that a scholarship and a challenge grant would be made in Cadet Christopher Morgan's name, the Christopher 'CJ' Morgan Memorial Golf Outing was also established in order raise money for students who wish to pursue post-secondary education.
On Monday, Sept. 30 at Rock Spring Golf Club, located at 90 Rock Spring Road in West Orange, friends, family and supporters will honor the life and legacy of Morgan, a West Orange High School (WOHS) graduate of 2015 who was recently killed in a freak training accident on June 6, 2019 just prior to entering his senior year as a cadet at West Point.
According to Stephen Zichella, who coached Morgan in wrestling during his years at WOHS, the outing will serve as “a vehicle to have fun and at the same time celebrate Chris’s life.”
“Several of us talked to the family to allow us to move forward with this golf outing this fall,” said Zichella. “We wanted to do something to honor him and at the same time raise money so we could give away a scholarship in his name next spring.”
Referencing Morgan’s famed athletic prowess, Zichella added that Morgan “wasn’t a golfer, but if he was, he’d be great at it.”
As the event draws near, Zichella said he has been “touched by all the businesses and individuals” who have supported the campaign thus far. There are currently 125 golfers signed up to participate in the outing, bringing the golf tournament to approximately 85-percent capacity.
Only the first 144 golfers will be allowed to participate in the golf portion of the event, but people can also support the event by providing monetary donations in exchange for perks at the tournament based on what tier is reached.
“We’ve had people give small contributions, [and] we’ve had people do a hole sponsorship, which is $150, and we put their business or their name on a sign that we put at the 18 holes that we play,” said Zichella. “We’ve had an overwhelming amount of hole sponsors and we’ve also had even a gold sponsor ($5,000).”
He added that silver ($2,500), bronze ($1,000) and individual sponsors have also donated items for the golf outing’s raffle and tricky tray. A $60 dinner-only option is also available.
Click HERE to learn more specifics about the different sponsorship levels.
Zichella reiterated that the goal of the golf outing is to educate and inspire individuals about Morgan and “how he lived his life.”
“He was near perfect in everything he did,” the wrestling coach said. “He had a beautiful soul and loved everything and everyone and those who knew him could talk about who he was, but his legacy, I hope, lives on forever. And certainly, through this scholarship, it’s a great way to do that—to inspire others to lead a life like Chris’.”
He added that the Morgan family “is truly one of the greatest families in our community and around” and deserves as much attention as their son.
“They’re just the most amazing individuals, and I think that’s why Chris was who he was because of the love and how wonderful his family was,” said Zichella. “We want to honor his family and the last thing is to really raise the money so that this scholarship will be around for a long time.”
Those interested in supporting the golf outing by either becoming a sponsor or participating in the outing should contact Joe Spina at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephen Zichella at email@example.com by Wednesday, Sept. 25.
Interested parties who are unable to attend or sponsor the outing but still want to show their support are invited to provide a monetary donation or to donate goods or services by sending them to Joe Spina at 51 Conforti Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052. Checks must be made out to “West Orange Education Foundation, Inc.”
Community members can also still contribute to the Challenge Grant for Christopher Morgan through Oct. 15. As part of the challenge, the West Orange Education Foundation (WOEF) announced that it will “match dollar-for-dollar up to $25,000 any contribution received by the West Orange Scholarship Fund.”