New Foundation to Provide Golf Programming and Grants Focused Specifically on Three Core Pillars of Youth, Military and Diversity
Lower Gwynedd Township, PA., February 28, 2019… The Philadelphia Section PGA introduces PGA REACH Philadelphia, a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation whose mission is to positively impact lives and communities through the game of golf, with a focus on 3 core pillars: youth, military and diverse populations.
The Philadelphia Section of the PGA of America consists of more than 880 PGA Professionals and Assistants located in Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey (Trenton – south), Delaware and parts of Northern Maryland, who are at the forefront of golf programming and initiatives that grow the game of golf at more than 300 public and private golf facilities. Under the guidance of these PGA Professionals, PGA REACH Philadelphia’s goal is to grow the game by providing financial assistance, instruction, instructional materials, mentoring, equipment and scholarships to individuals and organizations throughout the region.
“Our entire staff, along with our Executive Committee and District Directors, are thrilled to officially debut PGA REACH Philadelphia and begin our journey to positively impact lives and inspire a new generation of golfers,” said Geoff Surrette, Executive Director, Philadelphia Section PGA. “PGA REACH, at the national level, has made a tremendous impact with programs like PGA HOPE and PGA Jr. League, and we are committed to utilizing these initiatives and many others as our dedicated PGA Professionals introduce the intrinsic values of golf to people from every walk of life.”
Among the key programs offered by PGA REACH Philadelphia is PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere). The PGA of America’s flagship military program, PGA HOPE provides weekly golf clinics to Veterans with disabilities in order to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. As golf has become a therapeutic part of the rehabilitation process for many Veterans with disabilities, PGA HOPE is truly making a difference in their lives.
PGA REACH Philadelphia is working with facilities and VA hospitals to identify golf courses to host five-week golf programs led by trained PGA Professionals that provide Veterans with golf instruction, course access, and adaptive equipment where needed. Prior to the official debut of PGA REACH Philadelphia, the Philadelphia PGA HOPE program served over 100 veterans through their 2 chapters in Bensalem, PA and Burlington, NJ. Under the direction of the new foundation, PGA HOPE is expected to grow substantially in 2019 and beyond, and continue impacting the lives of Veterans across the region.
Another marque program of PGA REACH is their flagship youth initiative, PGA Jr. League, golf’s version of Little League baseball, which provides a fun, social and inclusive opportunity for boys and girls, ages 13 and under, to learn and play the game of golf in a popular “team” scramble format. Each team is coached by a PGA or LPGA Professional, and all players wear team uniforms with player numbers on the back. More than 1,800 kids participated throughout the Philadelphia PGA region in 2018, encompassing over 130 teams, playing in 31 Leagues at 86 public, private and First Tee facilities. In 2019, under the direction of the foundation, the goal for PGA Jr. League is to grow this number and provide opportunities for children to play the game without barriers by providing scholarships to fund those in need of financial assistance.
Also, under the of the youth pillar in PGA REACH Philadelphia, is the Golf in Schools Program. PGA REACH Philadelphia, in collaboration with the Golf Association of Philadelphia, created this program to grow the game of golf among youth in local communities. A comprehensive curriculum, developed by PGA Professionals, is designed to introduce the game to students of all skill levels through their physical education classes in school. The program focuses on the basic fundamentals of the game as well as the mental and physical health benefits that the lifelong sport provides. The goal of the foundation is to grow and expand the program by activating dozens of new schools while continuing to work with PGA Professionals and educators to enhance the program curriculum.
“Establishing PGA REACH Philadelphia is a tremendous achievement for our 880 PGA members throughout the Section, and we are excited for the opportunities the organization presents to use the game of golf to give back and help put smiles on the faces of children, our dedicated Veterans and any individual we can help to inspire,” said, John Rogers, PGA, President, Philadelphia Section PGA.
For more information visit http://philadelphia.pga.com/pgareachphiladelphia/