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The team from the House of LaRose — founding sponsor of the Summa Health Golf Outing — competes in the 2019 event.

Tradition of generosity at Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation

This story originally appeared in the Summer 2020 edition of Promise magazine.

Tradition. Perhaps no other professional sport played today has as much tradition as golf – the Green Jacket presentation at the Masters tournament, the Ryder Cup, players removing their hats and politely shaking hands after every round. 

Charity. Professional golf is also replete with generosity. And when it comes to charitable giving, Northeast Ohio is exceptionally notable for the bigheartedness constantly shown by individuals, corporations and foundations such as Northern Ohio Golf Charities Foundation (NOGCF). In fact, NOGCF, in conjunction with professional golf tournaments at Firestone Country Club, has been responsible for the distribution of more than $29 million to worthy area causes since 1984. This generosity continues through the new Bridgestone Senior Players Championship, a major on the PGA Tour Champions, being held at Firestone this summer August 13-16. 

Summa Health is one of six current beneficiaries that NOGCF regularly supports through the annual golf tournament. In the last four years alone, NOGCF has given $400,000 to support a myriad of programs throughout the health system and, in total, has donated $600,000 to Summa Health. 

Brian Moore (left) and Don Padgett III

“Traditionally, professional golf takes great pride in giving back to the communities where the tournaments are held,” said Brian Moore, NOGC Foundation president. “In Akron, if you live and work here, chances are you’ll have a personal experience with the excellent medical care provided by Summa Health. And Summa is so critical to our community because they provide employment to thousands of people.”

Mr. Moore, who has led NOGCF for nearly three years and has volunteered at Firestone tournaments for more than 30, said, “It’s the charities that keep me going out there every day during the tournament. The Bridgestone tournament is really a community event.” In total, nearly 1,000 individuals volunteer at the tournament every year, keeping the entire five days running smoothly.

“And each of those volunteers knows the importance of giving back to the community,” added Mr. Moore. “They know that’s why they’re at the tournament.”

The same sentiment rings true for Don Padgett III, executive director of the Bridgestone Senior Players Championship. Mr. Padgett, who competed against Tiger Woods at the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship nearly 30 years ago, also realizes the importance of charity as a great tradition in the game of golf.

“Giving back to our region is a tradition in itself,” said Mr. Padgett. “The Bridgestone Senior Players Championship is proud to play a part in supporting our community and Summa Health.” 


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