East Amherst, NY (Nov. 2019) PGA REACH WNY—the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Western New York Section, PGA is proud to announce that local PGA HOPE Graduate Nick Martone is one of 20 military Veterans that have been named PGA HOPE Ambassadors in celebration of Veterans Day and the 3rd Annual PGA National Day of HOPE. Mr. Martone served a four year tour in Afghanistan in the US Marine Core.  He is a graduate of the  local PGA HOPE Buffalo Chapter hosted at Glen Oak GC, East Amherst, NY led by PGA Instructors Tim Fries, Jeff Mietus, Rob Krajewski, Jerry Coleman, John Daddario and Anthony Schiro.

PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is a six-week program that helps Veterans assimilate back into their communities through the social interaction the game of golf provides, and is offered at no cost to Veterans. Led by our local PGA Professionals, there are currently three chapters (Buffalo, Rochester and Erie), helping approximately 80-100 Veterans annually.

The 20 Veterans were named National PGA HOPE Ambassadors following the completion of a specialized training program during the Inaugural PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week, which was conducted in October, at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland. The four-day program included advanced golf instruction and wellness training for Nick and the 19 others.

Each participating Veteran received a specially designed golf and wellness tool kit that included golf training tips, exercises and other recommendations for healthy living. Each new PGA HOPE Ambassador will now represent their respective PGA of America Section and support their fellow Veterans in communities across the country during PGA HOPE clinics and training programs.

List of 20 New PGA HOPE Ambassadors:

Veteran Section Branch
Josh Swindle Carolinas U.S. Army
Eric Schuster Central NY U.S. Army
Bill Wiegand Gateway U.S. Air Force
William Caywood Indiana U.S. Army
Janus Persaud Metropolitan   U.S. Marines
Matt Underwood Middle Atlantic U.S. Navy
Daniel Brazzell Midwest U.S. Marines
David Karl Nebraska U.S. Air Force
Chris Solivan New Jersey U.S. Marines
Douglas Jackson North Florida U.S. Marines
Will Stockholm Northern California U.S. Marines
Randy Shack Northern Texas U.S. Army
Sean Sanders Philadelphia U.S. Army
Mary Anderson-Kokell South Florida U.S. Army
Burton Jones Southern Ohio U.S. Air Force
Casey Dorrell Southwest   U.S. Army
Clark Harrison Tennessee U.S. Army
Dennis McClure Tri-State U.S. Army
Nick Martone Western NY U.S. Marines
Joseph Robinson Colorado   U.S. Army

“We congratulate each of these 20 heroes on their successful completion of PGA HOPE National Golf & Wellness Week,” said PGA REACH Senior Director Ryan Cannon. “Their commitment to protecting our freedoms and helping others provides inspiration to us all.”

“The work that our PGA Professionals continue to do in the military space is truly inspiring and life changing. On behalf of the PGA REACH WNY Board of Trustees, we are so proud that Nick will be representing our local PGA HOPE Chapters as an Ambassador moving forward,” said PGA REACH WNY Executive Director Steven Bartkowski.

To learn more how you can get involved and give back through PGA HOPE, click HERE.

PGA REACH WNY is the charitable arm of the Western NY PGA Section and was created 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 will 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.