PGA of America’s Charitable Foundation – PGA REACH – Hosted a Charity Pro-Am at Oak Hill Country Club on Sept. 22
$75,000 raised to support PGA REACH and the local PGA REACH Western New York foundation
at the host site of the 2023 PGA Championship
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — PGA REACH hosted a Charity Pro-Am at Oak Hill Country Club Thursday, where $75,000 was raised to support the national PGA REACH organization, as well as the local PGA REACH Western New York foundation.
PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. Its mission is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections and the game of golf.
“We’re delighted to be here at Oak Hill Country Club to host the PGA REACH Charity Pro-Am,” said Kennie Sims, Senior Director of PGA REACH Impact. “We’re working with the Western New York PGA Section and the City of Rochester to help us impact lives through our foundation. Throughout our programming, we’ll be able to improve the lives of Veterans and youth, and help underrepresented communities through the game of golf.”
PGA REACH Western New York serves Buffalo, Rochester and Northwest Pennsylvania, and consists of 300 members. Last year, PGA REACH Western New York supported 1,555 local community members through their work with Veterans, junior golfers, Special Olympics athletes and underserved individuals. Since its inception in 2010, PGA REACH Western New York has impacted local communities through its founding pillars and the generous support of its foundation partners.
“This event is funding good work both nationally and locally,” said WNYPGA Executive Director Chip Clover. “We’re working on the three pillars: DEI, youth and military. There’s so much work being done around the country through each PGA Section. Our flagship program, PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), has some of the most appreciative people I’ve ever met in my time in golf. They’re grateful to have the opportunity to get back together, and I’m proud to say that golf is the common denominator to bring success to these programs through PGA REACH.”
“To see our PGA REACH ambassadors participate more and more around the country, our kids’ programs are growing, and it feels like we’re growing,” said PGA REACH WNY Board of Directors President Tim Fries. “I’ve met some of my best friends through PGA REACH, and it’s great to have a fun and peaceful place where they can come and enjoy, and bring their families. And that feels good.”
In addition to the PGA REACH Charity Pro-Am, Oak Hill also hosted a PGA HOPE program led by Oak Hill Country Club PGA Director of Instruction Jeff Urzetta. There were 14 Veterans participating in this clinic. As the flagship military program of PGA REACH, PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans and Active-Duty military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being.
“This event highlights that it takes a nation to heal a Veteran,” PGA HOPE Military & Veteran Liaison Chris Nowak said. “People and organizations can’t do it alone, so today we have individuals and organizations giving their resources so we can offer golf through the PGA HOPE program as a therapeutic program for Veterans recovering from various disabilities.”
In addition to PGA HOPE, PGA WORKS is another strategic initiative designed to diversify the golf industry’s workforce. Funded by PGA REACH, PGA WORKS leverages fellowships, scholarships, career exploration events, and the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship to inspire and engage talent from diverse backgrounds to pursue key employment positions across the golf industry. The Western New York PGA Section’s Fellow is 2022 SUNY Cortland graduate Taylor Hunter.
“In my new role as the PGA WORKS Fellow, I had the opportunity to come home (to Buffalo) and work for PGA REACH,” said Hunter. “This experience has been such a gift. I help the foundation, manage events and fundraisers, and work with our tournaments. I encourage others to always be up for a challenge to learn something new. For me, golf is a great place to learn about a sport — and business.”
The PGA REACH Charity Pro-Am took place at Oak Hill Country Club, home of the 2023 PGA Championship on May 15-21, 2023.
Photography from the day can be found here. Please credit photographer Joey Conti.
About PGA REACH
PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA professionals, PGA sections and the game of golf.
About PGA of America
The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 28,000 PGA Professionals who work daily to grow interest and inclusion in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit PGA.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.