birdies & charity logo 2022

*** The 2023 Northern Ohio PGA Section Foundation Smucker's Birdies & Charity is set for September 18th at Avon Oaks Country Club***

group photo 2022 bfc

Schedule of Events:

-8:00 am -Registration
-9:00 am -Shotgun Start
-1:00-1:30 pm -Lunch Break Sponsored by Green Circle Growers
-1:30 pm -Afternoon rounds begins
-5:30 pm -Completion of Play & Celebration and Announcements

Sporadic rain showers were prevalent throughout the 3rd Smucker’s Birdies & Charity at the Country Club of Hudson, but that did not stop Northern Ohio PGA professionals from raising over $100,000 for charity.  Forty professionals from nineteen facilities played 72 holes of golf to benefit five Northern Ohio charities on September 26th.  The Northern Ohio PGA Section Foundation selected five charities that it would support this year including The Turn, Ohio Girls Golf Foundation, Clearview HOPE, Cleveland Clinic Challenge Golf, and the Ben Curtis Family Foundation.  

The event began months prior when Smucker’s agreed to a $10,000 title sponsorship.  Weeks before the event, professionals began to send emails to their membership, post flyers around their club, and stand on the first tee to solicit donations from members.  Pledges were made in flat donations as well as a dollar amount per birdie.  Over 420 individual donors from nineteen facilities contributed to today’s donations.  

The most successful fundraisers of the day were Kirtland’s Mark Bixler and Steve Niland, making 21  birdies at $985 per birdie for a total of $25,420.  When asked about their success, he said “Thanks to the generous contributions of the members of Kirtland Country Club, Steve and dI are proud to be about to help out 5 great organizations and the Northern Ohio PGA Section Foundation.  The game of golf consistently gives back to the community and we are happy to play a small part in that.  We look forward to seeing the positive impact days like these have on the game of golf moving forward.”  

The day began with professionals registering and receiving a coordinated shirt and hat as well as a Vibe tumbler, and donuts and coffee.  As the group gathered to have their photo taken, a junior golfer from The Turn who had been awarded a set of clubs from the Northern Ohio PGA Section Foundation hit the opening tee shot to start the day.

The highlight of the day came when Shady Hollow’s Ian Haidle made seven birdies in a row during a stretch of holes from holes five to eleven in the third round of the day.

Executive Director David Griffith also felt appreciation: “We are overwhelmed with the generosity that has been shown from our PGA professionals and their club members and customers.”

Participating facilities in the event were: Kirtland, Brookside, Pepper Pike, Avon Oaks,, Portage, Walden, Congress Lake, Shaker Heights, Lakewood, Findlay, Oberlin, Barrington, Country Club of Hudson, Shady Hollow, Redtail, Stonewater, The Razz, Trumbull, Westfield, and Westwood.  Professionals paired themselves before teeing off and chose their own playing partners, mostly either in twosomes or threesomes to encourage a quick pace of play.  An all-day closest to the pin contest on the par 3’s was sponsored by FootJoy’s Joe Lombardi; each proximity winner receives a pair of NewFlex shoes.

The first thirty-six holes began at 9 and after the morning session was complete, a total of almost $80,000 had been raised.   Players gathered for lunch sponsored by Green Circle Growers and listened to representatives from the five charities speak about their organizations.  

Trevor Hazen from the Turn spoke about how The Turn is a place where people who are coping with rehabilitation from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and others can find solace.  Ron Tristano from Cleveland Clinic Challenge Golf also works with people recovering from strokes, spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, and amputations.  Ben and Candace Curtis from the Ben Curtis Family Foundation spoke about how they began their foundation after seeing how big of an issue food insecurity is in many Northern Ohio schools.  Renee Powell from Clearview HOPE spoke about how her program has helped save veteran lives through rehabilitation in golf.  Lynne Plaisance, Executive Director of the Ohio Girls Golf Foundation thanked the Section Foundation for allowing the game of golf to continue to grow for girls in Ohio, noting that the number of girls high school teams has grown exponentially since Mary Ann Bierman and her daughter began the OGGF in 1994.

This year, the Northern Ohio PGA Section Foundation once again raised over $100,000, but that number will grow as there are three clubs planning to host satellite events at their own clubs in the coming weeks.  These clubs include Mayfield Country Club, Sand Ridge Golf Club, and Westbrook Country Club.

charities 2021

"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"-David Griffith, Executive Director of the Northern Ohio PGA