East Amherst, NY – On November 22nd, the PGA REACH WNY Foundation held its 3rd Annual Charity Hockey Classic at the LECOM Harbor Center. The event raised over $9,200 for the Special Olympics of New York (SONY) to help support the Special Olympics athletes in Western New York.
The festivities started at 8 PM and the game began at 8:30 PM, following the National Anthem and the Ceremonial Puck Drop being done by the Special Olympics and their athletes. There were countless events being held through out the night like raffles, 2 Chuck-a-Puck contests for fans to partake in and a Special Olympics Hockey game played during the 1st Intermission.
The Charity Hockey Classic was played by the PGA REACH WNY Team, consisting of WNYPGA Professionals, and the Kiefer Team, consisting of various amateur hockey players lead by Matt Kiefer, one of the directors of the event. It was a close game throughout until the end when Team Kiefer was able to pull away and claim the Classic Victory 7-3. This is the first year that Team Kiefer has won the Charity Hockey Classic, with both previous games being won by the PGA REACH WNY Team.
This is the 3rd year that the Charity Hockey Classic has been played and its first year being held at the LECOM Harbor Center. In the two previous years, the event has raised over $15,000 for the Special Olympics of New York golf programs. Every year has seen an increase in funds raised, with $7,300 in 2017, $7,800 in 2018 and with an event high, $9,264 this year.
The Charity Hockey Classic was started in 2017 to help support the SONY golf programs in the Western New York area. Over the past two years, over 29 new athletes have been able to participate in SONY golf programs due to the funds raised at the Charity Hockey Classic. Over the next few years, the WNYPGA is looking to raise money to create a new indoor facility for various PGA REACH WNY Foundation programs, including helping to establish a new home for our local Special Olympics athletes.
This event is so successful because of the continuing support it receives from the WNYPGA community and its volunteers. So, we would like to say thank you to all of our volunteers from the night’s event and to our WNYPGA Professionals who raised funds through ticket sales and volunteered to play in this years Charity Hockey Classic. With the support of the WNYPGA, the Charity Hockey Classic looks to continue and increase its impact on SONY and its athletes for years to come.
About the Western New York PGA: The WNYPGA is one of the 41 geographic sections under the umbrella of the PGA of America. The Section was established in 1925 and represents 275 PGA Professionals and Apprentices and over 100 golf facilities across Rochester, Buffalo and Erie, PA. The Mission of the PGA is to Grow the Game of Golf today, tomorrow, and into the future.
About PGA REACH WNY Foundation: PGA REACH WNY was created by our Section PGA Professionals with a goal of providing support to various organizations within the boundaries of the Western New York PGA Section. Through the game of golf, the Foundation continues to work to fund programs supporting its mission including the Western New York Section PGA Junior Golf initiatives and various other underprivileged youth golf programs. The Foundation will conduct and/or support a variety of initiatives that serve the founding pillars: Youth, Military, and Diversity in golf.