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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Oscar Salazar Honored By Westchester Hills

Oscar Salazar
Westchester Hills Country Club paid tribute to a special person August 21. It wasn't the winner of a tournament championship or a newly-elected club president but rather Oscar Salazar, a locker room attendant at the White Plains club for 43 years.

When members of the club learned that the 65-year-old Salazar was battling cancer, they got together to stage an outing to both honor his years of service and to raise money for the education of his three kids. Over 120 golfers signed up for golf, dinner, raffles, and other fund-raising festivities held in the newly-renovated club house. One long-time member came from Florida for the event. Another cut short a business trip in Germany to fly back for it.

Oscar and his family greeted participants as they arrived, exchanging stories and posing for endless pictures as the golfer checked in. "This is like my second home," Oscar said. "The members are like a family."

Like the perfect sunny day, the mood was upbeat, cheerful, and celebratory of the man's life. His brother, Pepe, was in the locker room where he, too, has worked for many years. Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino declared August 21, 2012, "Oscar Salazar Day."

Oscar, a native of Lima, Peru, came to Westchester Hills as a bus boy. In 1980, he "graduated" to the locker room where he presides over the upper level. His brother, Pepe, is stationed on the ground floor. The two are noted for continuous banter about their favorite teams. Pepe is a Yankees fan while Oscar roots for the Mets.

As head pro Jason Gobleck said, "We do golf events all the time, but this one is special. It's for one of our own."

Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf

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