Throughout the years golfers have always been very willing to give their time and money to support a vast array of causes and charities. Since 1937, the PGA Tour alone has donated in excess of $1.8 billion to over 3,000 charities. Yes, you read that correct, $1.8 billion. That number does not include the many foundations and personal charities of the men who have played on Tour. Nor does it include the money donated from the LPGA and the ladies who play on that tour. Numbers like these show why golf is the most generous of all the professional sports.
But the charity and giving is not limited to the professional tours. One of the most well-known charities, the Folds of Honor Foundation, was started by PGA Professional and F-16 Fighter Pilot Major Dan Rooney. The Folds of Honor Foundation raises money for the spouses and children of soldiers killed or disabled in service to our country. There are a variety of ways this great organization raises their funds, but the most well known is Patriot Golf Day. Every year over Labor Day weekend, golfers have the opportunity to donate at thousands of golf courses around the country. Thousands of scholarships have been given to military families thanks to the millions of dollars donated to the Folds of Honor. To learn more please visit www.foldsofhonor.org.
These examples begin to lead to the point of this post. When I first approached Josh Riley, Gateway PGA Executive Director, about the Gateway PGA becoming involved with the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan, he was beyond excited and supportive of the idea. Little did I know what this support would lead to. Because of the involvement and support of the Gateway PGA Foundation, the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan would not cost the hospital one dime. In addition to the financial support of the Foundation, one of our Section's biggest events, PGA Golf Day, directly benefits Ranken Jordan.
Started in 2012, the Gateway PGA joined several other sections around the country in conducting the PGA Golf Day, an event that calls for golf professionals to play 100 holes in 1 day, 1 ball at a time, and 1 hole at a time. Professionals will receive pledges from donors for each hole played and that money will go to multiple charities throughout our section. One of the charities is Ranken Jordan. At the conclusion of last year's event Gateway PGA Foundation President and MLB Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith presented Ranken Jordan CEO Lauri Tanner a check for almost $11,000. As I sat watching the presentation I could not have been prouder knowing that the creation of the junior golf program played a small role in the relationship we have established with a facility as amazing as Ranken Jordan.
www.pgagolfday.com/gateway. Of course if you prefer to donate directly to the junior golf program at Ranken Jordan that is ok, too. I still want to add an OptiShot simulator for the kids to use along with the TV and computer it needs!