NOPGA Members Raise Pledges of Over $55,000 in Inaugural Smucker’s Birdies for Charity Event

AURORA: It was a gesture of generosity.

It was a display of camaraderie.

All in the spirit of playing it forward.

And, in the end it was a great day of golf and a great day for golf and the charities the game supports.

That’s the way it was on Monday (September 28) at Barrington Golf Club when 31 Members and Associates of the Northern Ohio Section of the PGA of America participated in the Section’s Inaugural Smucker’s Birdies For Charity event.

David Griffith summed it up best.

The Executive Director of the NOPGA said, “We can’t thank our members enough for coming together to spend the day raising money for our Foundation and the charities that are so deserving of our contributions.”

Those were key words as the professionals unselfishly gave up an entire day and bonded together to help others, following the PGA’s tradition of making charitable contributions. The NOPGA received pledges of over $55,000 by making 261 birdies over Barrington’s immaculate layout.

Each NOPGA Member solicited various donation pledge amounts for every birdie made prior to the event. Several played as many as 72 holes in order to raise money for the NOPGA Foundation, which will distribute the money to the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation, Clearview HOPE, The Turn, the Evans Scholars Foundation and the Challenge Golf Program at the Cleveland Clinic Akron General.

“It was a fantastic effort for our inaugural event,” said Steve Parker, Head Golf Professional at Portage Country Club and the President of the NOPGA. “We have to thank our members and their friends who graciously offered their support.”

Players came from throughout Ohio, from neighboring Club Walden to Lakewood and Westwood on the West Side to Elks Country Club in Mercer County and Shawnee Country Club in Lima.
The J.M. Smucker Company got the event off to a rousing start with a sponsorship of $10,000.

Section Members organized teams of an unlimited number, from Rob Moss’s Pepper Pike team of five to Barrington Pro Mark Sierak and Scott Pollock of 1899-Cleveland East, each of whom played alone. Mostly there were two-man teams.

Of course, there was competition – a natural characteristic of professional athletes – and there was no lack of cheering and encouragement. Team Mayfield, comprised of Head Golf Professional Mark Evans and Assistant Golf Professional Sam Wilding, led all squads with a combined 34 birdies with Evans leading everyone with 19 solos.

Team Pepper Pike’s five-some of Head Golf Professional Rob Moss, General Manager Steve Carter and Assistant Golf Professionals Thomas Lydic, Sean McGuire and Zac Cork were next with 28 birdies.

Lakewood’s Country Club’s Tom Waitrovich and Tim Perin took third place with 21 birdies.

Pollock and Sierak led those competing individually with 17 birdies apiece, followed by Portage Assistant Golf Professional Adam Lewicki with 15.

The event was played under intermittently-strong windy conditions and two brief rainstorms. Still, the pros never quit without meeting or exceeding their expectations.

That’s how you play it forward.

In alphabetical order here are the people who helped make this inaugural event a success:
FROM BARRINGTON: Mark Sierak, 17 birdies.
FROM BEECHMONT: Jaysen Hansen, Adam Stinogle, 15 birdies
FROM BROOKSIDE: Joe Borowski, Cory Kumpf, 19 birdies
FROM ELKS MERCER COUNTY: Kirk Stucke, 8 birdies
FROM FINDLAY: Jordan Schroeder, Julian Pina, 14 birdies
FROM LAKEWOOD: Tom Waitrovich, Tim Perin, 21 birdies
FROM MAYFIELD: Mark Evans, Sam Wilding, 34 birdies
FROM PEPPER PIKE: Steve Carter, Rob Moss, Tom Lydic, Sean McGuire, Zac Cork, 28 birdies.
FROM PORTAGE: Steve Parker, Adam Lewicki, 15 birdies.
FROM SHAWNEE: Asa Donaldson, Collin Hennon, 16 birdies.
FROM SIGNATURE OF SOLON: Dan Banks, 6 birdies.
FROM WALDEN: Mitch Camp, Collin McEndree, 13 birdies.
FROM WESTFIELD: Chad Kitzmiller, Mark Scott Jr., 22 birdies
FROM WESTWOOD: John Sico, Glenn Cunningham, 11 birdies.
FROM WINDMILL: Trent Maxwell, Scott Galayde, 11 birdies.
FROM 1899 CLEVELAND EAST: Scott Pollock, 17 birdies.

Tim is a Contributing Writer for the Northern Ohio PGA. Award-winning golf writer and sports reporter for the Plain Dealer, now retired. Contributor to the Akron Beacon Journal, Canton Repository, AP, other national publications.