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PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is the flagship military program of PGA REACH WNY. PGA HOPE introduces golf to veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. In 2017, there were 1,500 veterans impacted nationwide by this therapeutic program. Suicide is a major issue among military veterans, with recent statistical studies showing that 22 veterans a day commit suicide. PGA HOPE is working to change this statistic by helping Veterans to return to civilian life.

Led by local WNYPGA Professionals, PGA REACH WNY impacted the lives of over 100 veterans cross Buffalo, Rochester and Erie, PA. These veterans were given 6-week clinics and access to multiple golf facilities at NO COST.

In 2018, PGA REACH WNY was honored to be able to help place a Vietnam Veteran, Edy Andino, in a job opportunity at Glen Oak Golf Course, which is a local PGA Golf Facility in Buffalo, NY. Mr. Andino was quoted saying, “Without golf, and the instruction from the PGA Professionals, I may not be alive today. Golf has given me a positive outlook on life. I was very self-conscious before entering PGA HOPE, but now since entering the program there has been a positive change in both my mental and physical health.”

In 2019, a group of Veterans from PGA HOPE Western NY were invited to the Secretary’s Cup at Bethpage Golf Course. The annual event occurs in conjunction with the PGA Championship and is named after the Secretary of Veteran Affairs. Each team is made of four PGA HOPE Veterans and a PGA or LPGA Professional. At the 2019 Secretary’s Cup, Nick Martone, a Marine Corps Veteran from the PGA HOPE WNY Program was named a National PGA HOPE Ambassador.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, PGA HOPE WNY served over 60 Veterans and continued to help the lives of Western NY Veterans. We prioritized the health and safety of our participants by continuing to offer the sense of community formed at PGA HOPE and masking up! Partnerships with Bunkers in Baghdad, Verde Golf, and golf facilities across the Western NY PGA make our service to those who have served possible. In our campaign with PGA National Day of HOPE the program was able to raise more than $9,000.

For those interested in participating in PGA HOPE WNY please contact your local Veterans Affairs in Buffalo, Erie or Rochester.

For those interested in supporting PGA HOPE WNY program with donations, volunteering time, or coaching please contact Assistant Executive Director, Victoria Schiro,