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From Our Leadership


Founding Pillars


Board & Staff








2018 Supporting Events


How To Get Involved


Become A Partner


“Impacting Lives Through the Game of Golf�

PGA REACH WNY was created with a goal of providing support to various organizations within the boundaries of the Western New York PGA Section. Through the game of golf, the Foundation will work to fund programs supporting its mission including the Western New York Section PGA Junior Golf initiatives and various other underprivileged youth golf programs. The Foundation will conduct and/or support a variety of initiatives that serve the founding pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity in Golf.




Since the inception of the PGA Reach WNY Foundation in 2010, I have witnessed firsthand the positive impact it has had on our communities through a variety of initiatives! The increased involvement from our PGA Professionals, volunteers and partners has enabled our Foundation to grow and touch the lives of many through the game of golf. One such initiative of the Foundation, which began in 2012, has been the JC Martin Project. JC Martin is a city owned 9 hole golf course in the heart of Erie, Pennsylvania. The Foundation spearheaded the restoration project, which has seen over $500,000 raised to enhance all aspects of the facility. Through coordination with the city, volunteers, and donors, a significant impact has been made on the facility and ultimately Erie’s youth. Enhancements such as: course drainage, a new maintenance building, bridges on the course, short and long game practice facilities, and green reconstruction. The final phase of the project will be the construction of nine forward tees, which will enhance the experience of Juniors, Seniors and Beginners. The target date for implementation is the fall of 2019. Continued growth of the PGA Reach WNY Foundation will ensure our Communities are positively impacted and benefit from our efforts! If you are interested in volunteering, partnering or donating please contact Steve Bartkowski at or myself at



STEVEN BARTKOWSKI PGA REACH WNY Foundation Executive Director

It is truly an honor to serve as the Executive Director of the PGA REACH WNY Foundation. I am inspired every day by the work that our local PGA Professionals continue to do in the community. The WNYPGA Foundation Inc. was founded in 2010 by local PGA Professionals in the Western New York PGA Section with the goal of positively impacting lives through the game of golf. The Foundation continued under that name until recently when the charitable arm re-branded, re-structured. and re-focused their strategic plan. Thus was born—PGA REACH WNY. The founding pillars of the newly branded foundation include Military, Youth and Diversity/Inclusion. This more focused approach we feel will ultimately make a greater impact. Since its inception in 2010, the charitable arm of the WNYPGA has been providing access and opportunities across the Section to individuals through the game of golf. And this past year we believe has been the most impactful year yet! PGA Junior league touched the lives of over 450 kids, teaching them all the life lessons that golf provides in a fun, safe, team environment. PGA HOPE continues to grow and serve our Veterans helping them to assimilate back into society. Eight new Special Olympics Athletes were introduced to the game of golf in 2018 through the funds directly raised by PGA REACH WNY via the Charity Hockey Classic. The JC Martin Project continues to benefit juniors and families in the Erie, PA community, providing them with a safe environment to learn this great game. To our partners, donors, volunteers and PGA Professionals that continue to support our mission, thank you! For those interested in getting involved, please take a look at some of the opportunities in this report and feel free to reach out to me at (716) 313-2943 or 5



FOUNDING PILLARS MILITARY PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of the PGA REACH WNY Foundation, that introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. Led by local PGA Professionals, PGA HOPE is a proven therapeutic activity that has helped hundreds of Veterans across WNY assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction golf provides.

YOUTH Activities and projects aimed towards youth are highlighted by PGA Junior League, JC Martin Project and Smiling FORE Life. PGA Junior League is the flagship youth program of PGA REACH WNY, that has a goal of helping to make golf more accessible to all interested youth. Led by PGA Professionals, PGA Junior league brings friends and families together around a fun team golf environment.

DIVERSITY & INCLUSION PGA REACH WNY is focused on making the game of golf more accessible to individuals of diverse backgrounds and situations. Through the Charity Hockey Classic, PGA Professionals were able to raise enough funds to allow eight more athletes to learn the game of golf in the Special Olympics Western Region Golf Program. 7

BOARD & STAFF BOARD OF TRUSTEES Michael O’Connor, PGA—President The Kahkwa Club Tim Fries, PGA—Vice President Glen Oak Golf Course Mike D’Agostino, PGA—Secretary Penfield Country Club Jeff Mietus, PGA—Treasurer Glen Oak Golf Course Andy Conner—Erie Independent Director Conner Riley Friedman & Weichler Ralph Fornuto—Rochester Independent Director Fornuto Ventures LLC Jaimie Miller—Buffalo Independent Director Morgan Stanley

STAFF Steven Bartkowski— Executive Director WNYPGA & PGA REACH WNY Ric Alberico, PGA—Tournament Director WNYPGA Bob Ashley, PGA—Player Development Director WNYPGA



Watch our new 30 second PSA above!

MILITARY PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH WNY. PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. In 2017, there were 1,500 Veterans impacted nationwide by this therapeutic program. It is a fact that suicide is a major issue among military Veterans, with recent statistical studies showing that 22 Veterans a day commit suicide. PGA HOPE is working to change this statistic. Led by local WNYPGA Professionals, PGA REACH WNY impacted the lives of over 60 Veterans across Buffalo, Rochester and Erie, PA. These ANNUAL REPORT


Veterans were given 6-week clinics and access to multiple golf facilities at NO COST. In 2018, PGA REACH WNY was also honored to be able to help place a Vietnam Veteran, Edy Andino, in a job opportunity at Glen Oak Golf Course, which is a local PGA Golf Facility in Buffalo, NY. Mr. Andino was quoted saying, “Without golf,

and the instruction from the PGA Professionals, I may not be alive today. Golf has given me a positive outlook on life. I was very self-conscious before entering PGA HOPE, but now since entering the program there has been a positive change in both my mental and physical health.�


INAUGURAL 100 HOLES FOR HOPE, A SUCCESS When the Foundation Board of Trustees met this past spring it was the beginning of a new Chapter for the PGA Member driven Foundation - PGA REACH WNY. Independent Directors were added to the strong core of PGA Members already serving on this Board. One of the first goals of this newly formed group was to create awareness for the work that the Foundation has and continues to do.

together both PGA Members experience verify that physical and Amateurs - all playing 100 activity is important to Holes of golf in one day. maintaining good health, speeding recovery and At the Kahkwa Club, led by improving overall quality of Michael O’Connor and Sean life. For many injured Veterans, Coleman, a foursome started adaptive sports provide their the day at sunrise and played first exposure to physical alternate shot raising close to activity after injury. Due to the $4,500 for PGA HOPE. A support of fundraising such as week later at Glen Oak GC, led this, PGA HOPE is offered to by Tim Fries and Jeff Mietus, our Veterans at NO COST. PGA Members and Veterans completed the same initiative We hope to get many more raising close to $1,500 for facilities, PGA Members and Through these conversations HOPE. Amateur golfers alike on board spurned the concept of in 2019! “100 Hole For HOPE.” The The Department of Veterans awareness campaign would bring Affairs research and clinical



ANONYMOUS LETTER FROM SPOUSE OF PGA HOPE VETERAN I just wanted to tell you how very much I appreciate the PGA golf instructions because I have seen two Veterans who I care about very much, come alive this summer because of the effort and dedication you have placed in this project. One Veteran from my caregiving group has literally come alive. He is smiling, laughing, talking about his game and the fellas he has met who play with him instead of looking hopeless. He is excited each week to have this venue to concentrate on something other than the stressors in his life. My husband practices daily since he has been involved. The one who would never go outside to do any physical activity, now has a net set up in the backyard where he practices. He is actually putting his BMW convertible up for sale because his golf clubs won’t fit in the car!! Because of golf, he and his son now have a common interest and they schedule times together to go to the driving range. His health has definitely improved both physically and emotionally as a result of participating. The PGA masters probably don’t realize the impact of their generosity of time and attention, so please let them know that at least two men I know are experiencing a summer of joy because they are playing like kids again. If it is at all possible, please consider continuing this wonderful activity through the summer. You scored big on this one!! Sincerely and with great appreciation for all you do, -Anonymous Wife of a Veteran



PGA JR LEAGUE PGA Junior League is the flagship youth pillar program of PGA REACH WNY, with the goal of making the program accessible to all interested kids in the United States and around the world.

Through PGA Jr. League, girls and boys ages 13 and under learn and enjoy the game with instruction and direction from PGA and LPGA Professionals. Players wear numbered jerseys and compete on teams with their friends in a popular twoWith more than 42,000 golfers person scramble format that representing 3,400 teams in 47 reinforces the team concept and states throughout the United creates a nurturing environment States, participation in Junior for learning the game. League continues to increase each season. In Western New York, the 2018 ANNUAL REPORT


season saw 456 athletes under the age of 13 competing on 33 teams. Participation was up 21.6% from the 2017 season. The Section also hosted the first ever Section Junior League Championship at Glen Oak Golf Course for 8 of the top teams (80 juniors).


L-R Back Row: Doug Wert (PGA Jr League Regional Manager), Steven Bartkowski (PGA ED), Joe Bock (PGA Pro Leading First Tee Jr League Team), Tim Frank (First Tee ED) with kids from the First Tee Jr League Team at the Country Club of Buffalo Match

PGA REACH WNY SPONSORS FIRST TEE JUNIOR LEAGUE TEAM In 2018, PGA REACH WNY sponsored a PGA Junior League team that included 12 boys and girls from the First Tee of WNY. The team, that named themselves “The Seneca Hickory Sticks”, was led by PGA Professional Joe Bock. Our PGA REACH Foundation Board of Trustees approved this scholarship so that these young boys and girls (6 male and 6 female) were able to compete in the Junior League competition without worrying about any financial barriers. The First Tee of WNY is a Not For Profit that has a mission to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.

JC MARTIN PROJECT The WNYPGA Foundation and Head PGA Professional Michael O’Connor worked with the Erie Community Foundation and the city of Erie to renovate the J.C. Martin Family Golf Center. In just the second year of existence, the WNYPGA Foundation was proud and honored to take part in a project such as this that impacts the lives of golfers throughout an entire community. The total project to date has put in over $500,000 and is host to many initiatives such as Drive, Chip & Putt and PGA Junior League Golf which allow kids affordable access to the game of golf in Erie, PA. “J.C. Martin is an important part of the Erie Community. It has provided a place for young people to not only learn the game of golf, but to have a a constructive summer pastime and develop friendships for life.” -Joseph Sinnot, city of Erie Mayor “The golf course looks absolutely tremendous,” Mike Martin said. “It’s been a very playable golf course. I remember coming up here as a kid and teeing off on rubber mats. It really is a tremendous complex for the community today.” In 2018 the project did take a break from renovations but plans to make another splash with forward tees throughout the entire course to help make it even more playable for juniors in 2019.


"Golfers help take the mind off of treatment for kids"

SMILING “FORE” LIFE Led by PGA Professional, Mike D’Agostino, the PGA REACH Foundation embarked on a new initiative this past week called Smiling FORE Life. The Western New York Section is just the second in the country to conduct this program in which we anticipate creating a significant impact on numerous children for years to come. In just the first week of inception, PGA Professionals in Rochester, utilizing SNAG equipment, taught approximately eight kids of all different ages. In particular, there was a 15-year-old young man that plays golf for his High School team and was recently diagnosed with cancer. Just seeing the joy on his parents’ faces as PGA Professionals took the time to visit him made the trip worth while. The Foundation has a vision of expanding Smiling FORE Life into the Oishei Children’s Hospital in Buffalo in 2019.





PGA WORKS PGA Works Fellowship is one of the flagship programs of PGA REACH WNY. This fellowship aspires to be the most valuable entry-level-employment opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to garner experience in all facets of the golf industry. The golf industry’s workforce, including PGA Membership, is demographically homogeneous. The boards, senior leadership and full-time staff are 95%,

97% and 86% (respectively).


In 2019, PGA REACH WNY will have the opportunity to hire a PGA Works Fellow giving golf industry experience to an individual of a diverse background. The PGA WORKS Fellowship is a twelve-month paid position funded by PGA REACH. The goal is to have a PGA Membership and golf industry that are representative of a modern-day America. 21

We have made meaningful strides in embracing and leveraging diversity and inclusion, with particular emphasis on education and training, workforce diversification, supplier inclusion, and community engagement, but there is still much more work to be done.



CHARITY HOCKEY CLASSIC PROCEEDS BENEFITING SPECIAL OLYMPICS GOLF The Charity Hockey Classic has now raised over $15,000 since its inception in 2017, introducing 23 new Special Olympics Athletes to the game of golf. On Friday, November 2nd, the PGA REACH WNY Foundation teamed up with StayRich to conduct the 2nd Annual Charity Hockey Classic at Riverworks. PGA Goalie, Marc Rosa, made a save on a penalty shot with 40 seconds left to help team PGA win for the 2nd year in a row! The event raised $7,800 for the Special Olympics NY Golf Program— enough to sponsor 15 new Special Olympics athletes for 2019. The Western Region of Special Olympics New York served 3,126 athletes in 2017. Athletes train and compete in a variety of 23 Olympic-style sports over the

course of our summer, winter, and fall seasons. Competitions are held at local, regional, superregional, and state levels in New York, giving our participants the chance to demonstrate their skills many times each year. The Western Region includes the counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Niagara, and Orleans. Two thriving golf programs operate out of the Western Region. The Chautauqua Lakers train and host competitions at Chautauqua Golf Club, and usually have 40-50 athletes participating each year. The Erie Golf Club trains at Fox Valley in Lancaster and currently

has 36 members. Athletes from both clubs participate in individual golf skills, alternate shot competition, nine-hole individual play, or 18-hole individual play. Because of this fundraiser, the Western Region Golf Program has grown. There were eight new athletes that were introduced to the game of golf in 2018, with 15 more to be introduced in 2019. The Charity Hockey Classic presented by PGA REACH WNY and StayRich provided these athletes the opportunity to play by raising the funds necessary to sponsor them.


100 Holes For HOPE was held at both The Kahkwa Club in Erie, PA and Glen Oak GC in Buffalo, NY. PGA Professionals, amateur golfers and veterans played 100 holes of golf in one day and were able to raise over $5,000 for their local PGA HOPE Chapters.



The Duster Challenge conducted by the Tee2Green Radio Show hosts raised $2,300 for PGA REACH WNY. The 18-hole family friendly putting competition was held at The Fox Valley Club, with Charlie Fischer being crowned “Buffalo’s Best Putter.”

Tee it Up for the Troops held their 2nd Annual event at Wanakah Country Club on Monday, September 10th, 2018. The golf event brings local businesses together in a golf event to recognize our military Veterans and Active Duty members. As a beneficiary, The PGA REACH WNY Foundation receive $12,500 to help support the local PGA HOPE Chapters.











•Brand Recognition inside AND on-course at the PGA REACH WNY Homesite at Glen Oak Golf Course (averages 35,000 rounds per year)

•Brand Recognition inside the PGA REACH WNY Homesite at Glen Oak Golf Course

•4 Hours of lessons, fittings, swing analysis with PGA •10 Hours of lessons, fittings, Professionals swing analysis with PGA Professionals •Listing on PGA REACH WNY Foundation Website and •Listing on PGA REACH Newsletters WNY Foundation Website and Newsletters







•Brand Recognition inside the •Brand Recognition inside the PGA REACH WNY Homesite PGA REACH WNY Homesite at Glen Oak Golf Course at Glen Oak Golf Course •2 Hours of lessons, fittings, •Listing on PGA REACH swing analysis with PGA WNY Foundation Website and Professionals Newsletters •Listing on PGA REACH WNY Foundation Website and Newsletters


PGA REACH CHARITY PRO-AM SELLS OUT We are thrilled to announce we have sold out the event! Meeting our goal of raising over $50,000 affords us the ability to gift each WNY PGA HOPE Chapter a SoloRider cart. The vision of PGA REACH WNY, through the work of our PGA Professionals, is to make golf inclusive for all individuals across Western New York no matter their physical barriers, diverse background or financial situation. We are so proud of the work that our PGA Professionals have done through PGA HOPE. However, there



is still much work to be done to help Veteran’s wellbeing by introducing them to the game of golf. There are still many Vets that are either unable to join our clinics, or unable to take the lessons we give off-course and apply them on-course due to physical limitations. SoloRiders

are golf carts that are engineered and built to keep players with a diverse range of challenges and disabilities in the game of golf. Giving access to these vehicles can go a long way in ensuring all of our PGA HOPE Graduates have the opportunity to use golf as a rehabilitation tool for the rest of their lives.





INDOOR/OUTDOOR LEARNING CENTER Inclusive to the Three Founding Pillars to be able to provide a space in the summer and winter to run programming for our youth, military and diverse populations.

SMILING FORE LIFE Expanding the Smiling FORE Life Program into the Buffalo and Northwest PA Markets. ANNUAL REPORT


PGA WORK FELLOW Funding for a yearly PGA Works Fellow to provide an opportunity for a diverse individual to get started in the golf industry.

JUNIOR TOUR SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM Funding for a scholarship opportunity to further support our goal of making golf accessible to all interested kids.






GET IN TOUCH TODAY! Please contact Steven Bartkowski at 716-313-2943 or to discuss partnership opportunities.


IMPACTING LIVES THROUGH THE GAME OF GOLF 711 Smith Road East Amherst, NY 14051 (716) 626-7095

Profile for Western New York Section, PGA

2018 PGA REACH WNY Annual Report  

2018 PGA REACH WNY Annual Report