9/11 Caddie Walk Honors Those Lost In World Trade Center

9/11 Caddie Walk Honors Those Lost In World Trade Center

On Thursday, September 11, the Be A Hero For Zero Caddie crew, led by co-founders Greg Corbo and Essex County Caddie Master Ken Cooke , will again march into Ground Zero.

This year, the march honors the memory of four victims from the Ridgewood Country Club, host venue of the Barclays two weeks ago and site of the 1935 Ryder Cup.

Those being remembered are Joseph J. Berry, 55, of Saddle River, who worked for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods; Michael V. San Phillip, also 55, of Saddle River and worked for Sandler, O’Neill & Partners L.P.

Also, Jon C. Vandevander, 44, of Ridgewood who worked for Carr Futures Inc., and Richard H. Woodwell, 44, of Ho-Ho-Kus, who worked for Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.



NJSGA Director of Communications

A group of Northern New Jersey caddies have conceived their own way of honoring those lost on September 11, 2001.

For the sixth consecutive year – this year on Wednesday, Sept. 11 - a group of nearly two dozen caddies will honor individuals who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks by marching more than 20 miles and riding a PATH train for Ground Zero – while carrying golf bags.

“We know 9/11 is not a national holiday and never will be. But we will take time out of our personal lives to honor some of the people we knew who lost their lives and were avid golfers. There is a connection between golf and many of those who lost their lives on 9/11,” said Greg Corbo of Roseland, who caddies at Essex County Country Club and is co-organizer of the 9/11 Be a Hero for Zero Caddies Walk.

The event begins each year at the Shillelagh Club in West Orange where Corbo and Cedar Grove native Ken Cooke, the caddie master at Essex County, originally came up with the idea of the 9/11 Caddie Walk. The group, with two bags weighing 70 pounds for each walker, marches from West Orange to Penn Station in Newark before boarding the PATH train.

After a ceremony at Ground Zero, the group marches out to Battery Park and the caddies hit specially initialed golf balls into the Hudson River to memorialize those lost.

The first walk, on Sept. 11, 2008, was done to honor their friend, Stephen Roach of Montclair Golf Club. In 2009, the walk honored Rick Harvey, Tom Sullivan and Greg Clark of Upper Montclair C.C.

In 2010, the walk was dedicated to Thomas Cahill, a frequent guest at Montclair G.C. The honoree in 2011 was Thomas Knox, the son of a Shillelagh Club member. Last year’s walk honored Michael Finnegan and John Murray of the Rock Spring Club.

This year’s event is dedicated to Norman Rossinow, a member of the Green Brook Country Club in North Caldwell who was 39 when he died in 2001. Rossinow was a native of North Caldwell, a graduate of West Essex Regional High School and Syracuse University.

He had been married less than three months and was in his office in the South Tower of the World Trade Center that fateful morning.

Corbo was in North Carolina on the day of the 9/11 attacks, working for the Daily Southern newspaper in Tarboro, N.C.

“The fact I wasn’t around here when it happened made me want to do something to honor the victims. The walk from West Orange to Newark is equivalent to caddieing two loops, 36 holes.

“We got some strange looks from people who didn’t understand what we were doing. Last year, officials from the New York Police Department escorted us part of the way and opened doors for us. It was a huge boost for everybody,” Corbo said.

“Each year, more people are interested and are there for at least part of the day. We didn’t know what we could do as caddies,” said Corbo, a graduate of Wayne Valley H.S., who is a quality assurance engineer.

Besides the blisters and backaches, Corbo said it’s more than worth the effort to honor the 9/11 victims. Last year, for the first time, the caddies were adorned in bibs with honorees names embossed on them.

The group also carries an American flag during the entire event.

“We are all in this together. It’s about being an American. It’s a bonding experience for these guys. Each year we do this, the day provides perspective and immense pride of being an American and getting up each day and rememvering who we are and what we stand for."

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