East Amherst, NY (October 2021) PGA REACH —the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America—has announced that 20 military Veterans across the country will travel this week to Congressional Country Club to be named  PGA HOPE Ambassadors October 14th -18th. Included in that exclusive list of 20 is Scott Smalter who is a Navy Veteran and a graduate of the local PGA HOPE Buffalo Chapter hosted at Glen Oak GC, East Amherst, NY.  Scott joined our program in 2017 and has already been such a great ambassador and leader of our HOPE Chapter. Since joining in 2017, Scott has rarely missed a class, represented WNY in the PGA Secretary’s Cup at Bethpage in 2019 and has already created a new event to benefit PGA HOPE WNY coming in 2022.  Smalter was nominated by the leadership of PGA REACH WNY for this opportunity and the trip will be fully subsidized by PGA REACH.

PGA HOPE WNY (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) is led by WNYPGA Professionals and 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 100 Veterans annually.

Over the course of four days in Washington DC, Smalter and fellow veterans will receive a tool kit of new skills focused on advanced golf instruction and impactful wellness training. This curriculum will be an extension to what Veterans have been learning throughout the year at their home PGA HOPE program. Golf instruction will be provided by the most respected PGA Members from around the country, and wellness instruction will be provided by leaders in Veteran healthcare from the Cohen Veteran Network (CVN). The curriculum will cover topics like nutrition, stress management, mental health and life skills. At night, group dinners will provide the opportunity to engage with golf’s most iconic figures and will encourage Veterans to share stories of how golf has impacted their lives both on and off the course.

The final day of the event will culminate with a golf outing at Congressional Country Club, where Veterans will have the opportunity to utilize the public speaking and networking skills they learned throughout the week as Ambassadors of the PGA HOPE program.

World Golf Hall of famer, 3-time Major Champion and Vietnam Veteran Larry Nelson will be a special guest on-site during the program.  The final day will include a golf event at Congressional Country Club, where the Veterans will tee it up with PGA Professionals, participating dignitaries and corporate partners prior to returning to their home markets where they will serve as Ambassadors for PGA HOPE.

The week will also serve as a prelude to the 4th PGA National Day of HOPE that will occur on Veterans Day, Thursday, Nov. 11. The PGA National Day of HOPE celebration has two goals: Commemorate our nation’s heroes who protect our freedom, and raise awareness and support for PGA HOPE, the flagship military program for PGA REACH. For information on PGA National Day of HOPE activities and PGA Section activations, please visit the OneCause fundraising campaign page HERE.

WNYPGA Foundation Inc. d/b/a PGA REACH WNY is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the Western New York Section, PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH WNY is to impact lives through golf. For more information, visit https://westernnewyork.pga.com/foundation/.