Golfers Score Big Win for Area Charities

Sept. 19, 2011 - Blue skies, warm weather and the chance to win a portion of $54,000 for the charity of their choice brought more than 90 golfers to the Kahwka Club in Fairview, Pa., last week for the 2nd annual ERIE Charity Challenge.

To participate, area businesses contributed $2,000 and a foursome of their best players to tee up on behalf of a charity of the sponsor’s choosing. ERIE President and CEO Terry Cavanaugh was the driver behind the event, held Sept. 12.

“This year, we expanded from 19 to 23 teams,” said Terry. “We’re thrilled that local businesses are embracing this unusual concept — in that all money collected goes to charity. In fact, we paid out 120 percent of entrance fees because three local companies provided a donation, but did not play.”

The Top Team

Based on team standings, charities could earn prizes from $500 to $10,000 — but every charity received something. The top team, sponsored by PNC bank, delegated the $10,000 prize to the Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Network in Erie. The Neighborhood Network Ministries provides one-on-one advocacy, a weekly soup kitchen, emergency assistance with food and hygiene products, and rent and utility assistance when financially feasible. They also provide tutoring programs for children and networking and support opportunities for women.

“I really can’t believe it — I’m still in shock,” said Rose Graham, Neighborhood Network executive director. “Our services are more in demand than ever, so we are very grateful for the support.”

Second place went to golfers from Marsha Marsh Real Estate Services, who earned $8,000 for the Erie City Mission; third place to the Eriez Magnetics team, who earned $6,000 for the YMCA of Greater Erie; and fourth place to Custom Engineering, who earned $5,000 for the Neighborhood Art House.

Through individual skills contests including longest drive, closest to the pin, putting, chipping and closest to the line, golfers earned $4,000 in additional winnings for charities, including the Erie City Mission, SafeNet, American Red Cross, Mercyhurst College and the Second Harvest Food Bank. Erie Insurance’s Community Outreach Department organized the fundraiser.