NATIONAL PGA REACH PROGRAMS IMPACTING LIVES OF  GATEWAY PGA REACH FOUNDATION YOUTH, MILITARY & DIVERSE POPULATIONS  CELEBRATED AT THE 100th PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

NATIONAL PGA REACH PROGRAMS IMPACTING LIVES OF GATEWAY PGA REACH FOUNDATION YOUTH, MILITARY & DIVERSE POPULATIONS CELEBRATED AT THE 100th PGA CHAMPIONSHIP

August 08, 2018 by PGA REACH

ST. LOUIS, (Aug. 3, 2018) — Gateway PGA REACH Foundation, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Gateway PGA Section, and PGA REACH, the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America, will celebrate each of their pillar programs — PGA Jr. League (Youth), PGA HOPE: Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (Military) and the PGA WORKS Fellowship (Diversity & Inclusion) — at the 100th PGA Championship.

In anticipation of the 2013 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship and the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club, the Gateway PGA Section, in partnership with the St. Louis community, created and adopted the charitable initiative PGA REACH. At the time, PGA REACH was conceived as a community service effort focused on keeping disadvantaged youth in school and leaving a positive impact on the St. Louis community long after the championships concluded. Since its inception in 2009, the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation has been led by its president, Baseball Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith. Smith is an energetic and influential catalyst in rallying financial assistance from across the region and the country to support the mission of the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation.

“I have always felt a deep responsibility to give back to the community where I played and that has enriched my life in a number of ways,” Smith said. “Hopefully through the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation, we’ll leave something here in St. Louis that can carry on for eons to come, long after the championship.”

The Gateway PGA REACH Foundation is credited with bringing to life the idea that the PGA of America’s spectator championships have the potential to leave a lasting impact on their host communities. Following its creation by the Gateway PGA Section, the name PGA REACH and the mission of impacting lives through golf were adopted by the charitable foundation of the PGA of America, as well as throughout sections across the country. PGA REACH and the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation are now aligned in the pursuit of the mission to impact lives through golf. Both entities pursue this mission with three areas of focus: Youth, Military and Diversity & Inclusion. 

Sunday, Aug. 5 — PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup Sponsored by Express Scripts

PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH. PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Led by PGA Professionals, PGA HOPE has helped thousands of veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf provides. In 2018, PGA HOPE is anticipated to impact over 2,000 veterans across the country.

  • The PGA HOPE Secretary’s Cup Sponsored by Express Scripts celebrates the PGA HOPE program by providing a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our military veterans and the PGA Professionals who work tirelessly to positively impact veterans’ lives. This annual event began in 2016 and is named after the secretary of veteran affairs in recognition of the Memorandum of Understanding between PGA REACH and the Department of Veteran Affairs.
  • Location: Whitmoor Country Club, 1100 Whitmoor Drive, Weldon Spring, MO 63304
  • Tee Times: 8-10 a.m. (10-minute intervals)
  • Teams: 13 five-person teams; 65 players
  • Teams consist of one PGA Professional and four veterans from PGA HOPE programs in the following PGA Sections: Gateway, Carolinas, Metropolitan, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Northern California
  • Special guests in attendance include:
    • PGA of America Secretary Jim Richerson
    • Gateway PGA REACH Foundation President Ozzie Smith
    • Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe
    • Express Scripts Executive VP and CFO Jim Havel
    • Express Scripts VP of Diversity & Inclusion and Corporate Giving Susan Stith
    • PGA HOPE Military and Veteran Liaison Corporal Chris Nowak
  • PGA HOPE donations will be accepted all week at the Championship Shops

Tuesday, Aug. 7 — PGA Jr. League Day with PGA Pros Rory McIlroy & Rickie Fowler

PGA Jr. League is the flagship youth program of PGA REACH. PGA Jr. League allows boys and girls of all backgrounds and skill levels to learn and play together in a supportive, two-person scramble format with coaching and instruction from PGA and LPGA Professionals.

  • More than 100 PGA Jr. League teams in the Gateway PGA Section were invited to attend the 100th PGA Championship
  • Local PGA Jr. League teams are invited inside the ropes to observe the Long-Drive Contest
  • 3:30 p.m.: All uniformed PGA Jr. League players on-site are invited to take a group photo in front of the Monster Board near the 18th green with potential special guests
  • Wednesday, Aug. 8 — The PGA WORKS Fellowship

The PGA WORKS Fellowship is the flagship diversity and inclusion program of PGA REACH. The PGA WORKS Fellowship aspires to be the most valuable entry-level employment opportunity for individuals from diverse backgrounds to garner experience the golf industry.

Launched in 2017, the PGA WORKS Fellowship will host 10 fellows across the country this year in the Michigan, Carolinas, Connecticut, Gateway, Middle Atlantic, Metropolitan, New Jersey, Northern Ohio, Southern Ohio and South Florida PGA Sections. The long-term goal of the program is to have fellows in all 41 PGA Sections nationwide.

  • Gateway PGA Section Fellow Fernando Molina will do an Instagram takeover on @PGAWORKS Wednesday
  • Molina is a graduate of Maryville University in St. Louis, has been at the Gateway PGA Section since May, and works to support the mission and purpose of the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation, including assisting with PGA HOPE programming, PGA Jr. League, the 100th PGA Championship, and Drive, Chip & Putt. He also assists with foundation administration, operations and fundraising events.
  • Fernando Molina is available for interviews Monday and Tuesday

“The 100th PGA Championship will be a remarkable week for PGA REACH as we celebrate the ongoing charitable efforts and impact of the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation in the St. Louis Community,” PGA REACH Senior Director Ryan Cannon said. “PGA REACH programs will continue on for generations to come in this community, impacting countless lives through golf.”

For more information about PGA REACH, visit PGAREACH.org.

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 the PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of PGA Professionals who daily work to grow interest and participation in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America visit PGA.org, follow @PGA on Twitter, and find us on Facebook.

About the Gateway PGA REACH Foundation

The Gateway PGA REACH Foundation is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Gateway PGA Section (Central & Eastern MO and Southern IL), one of 41 geographical sections of the PGA of America. 

For More Information: 

Michael Abramowitz, PGA of America mabramowitz@pgahq.com 561-389-4647

Chelsea Hellems, Dixon Schwabl chelsea_hellems@dixonschwabl.com 585-643-9436