The Central New York PGA raised $5,025 during the sixth annual PGA HOPE campaign, which began Oct. 11 and ended Nov. 30. Because the CNY PGA successfully reached its goal of $5,000, PGA REACH will be matching the $5,000 raised by the Section, giving the CNY PGA a total of $10,025 for local programs.
Nationally, the campaign raised $261,899 compared to $109,284 in 2021. This annual campaign celebrates our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom, while raising awareness and support for PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), a national PGA Reach program. .
Through our fundraising efforts, the CNY PGA will seek to further enhance the benefits to veterans and active-duty military participating in the program at Turning Stone Resort Casino and expand this program into the Watertown/Fort Drum and Binghamton regions.
PGA HOPE is designed to introduce golf to Veterans and Active Duty Military to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. PGA REACH and PGA HOPE aspire to create a physically and emotionally healthier Veteran community through a six- to eight-week curriculum led by PGA Professionals trained in adaptive golf and military cultural competency.
Since 2017, the CNY PGA has partnered with Turning Stone Resort Casino to offer PGA HOPE programs to our both veterans and active-duty military. Turning Stone’s Ryan McGinnis, PGA has coordinated these programs.
The first PGA HOPE program at Turning Stone had eight participants. The 2022 Spring session this year sold out with 120 participants. These six-week programs are now offered four times a year at Turning Stone. This year, 350 veterans participated with more than 140 new to the class.
On average, it costs $200 to graduate a Veteran through the PGA HOPE program, which includes eight weeks of instruction by a PGA Professional, all golf course and range access fees, adaptive equipment, and more. Most of all: the invaluable life skills our Veterans obtain as a result of their new golf skills will impact them for decades to come.
PGA of America Chief Membership Officer John Easterbrook Jr., PGA served as Campaign Chair for PGA National Day of HOPE this year.