Cliff Ross was a wonderful, fascinating man.
A 1969 Staples graduate, his many professional talents included architecture and building. He was also an excellent golfer, with a sweet swing. He worked as a Longshore ranger for several years, beginning as a teenager.
It’s fitting then that one of the last homes he designed — before losing a long battle to pancreatic cancer this spring — was at the end of Owenoke. From near the 10th hole at Longshore you can see into a window on its 2nd floor — all the way through to the Sound.
Even more fitting is that the fundraising drive for a new halfway house at Longshore is nearing its goal — thanks in large part to a $100,000 gift in memory of Cliff Ross.
A special event Thursday, September 22 — featuring a 1 p.m. golf scramble tournament, followed by a 6 p.m. cocktail party and auction at the Longshore tennis pavilion — may achieve the fundraising goal of $225,000.
But that would not have happened without Cliff Ross.
A passionate golfer (and senior club champion) who shot in the 70s even after his cancer diagnosis, he was a member of Westport’s Golf Advisory Committee. He believed in the need for a new halfway house behind the 9th green — to replace the one destroyed by fire in 2003 — and was instrumental in the design and planning of its reconstruction.
The “9 1/2 Holer” group worked hard to make it happen. They enlisted many local tradesmen to provide in-kind material and support to reduce costs.
Joey Romeo — the Longshore concessionaire — has promised to add a “Cliffburger” to the halfway house menu.
It — and the entire project — are fitting tributes to the memory of a kind, fair, honest, graceful and very giving man.
(The cost of the Golf Benefit on Sept. 22 is $200 — $150 per player for the 18-hole scramble, and $50 for the gala. For further details, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 203-858-4931.)