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PGA TOUR event celebrates Community Champions at The Ridgewood Country Club
While the $1.865 million THE NORTHERN TRUST generated this year for the local community is certainly impressive, it is stories like those of Ray Harold and his son, Chris, and a young cancer patient named Dylan that give meaning and context to the incredible impact of the PGA TOUR’s first event in the FedExCup Playoffs.
In front of community leaders, media, volunteers and other officials at The Ridgewood Country Club, the tournament team today announced record-setting charitable donations from the 2018 edition of THE NORTHERN TRUST. The announcement means that the event has generated nearly $50 million for local communities since 1967, while the stories from the Harold family and Dylan add life and light to those numbers.
For Ray Harold and his son Chris, the New Jersey Golf Foundation has been a constant in their lives. The New Jersey Golf Foundation is one of several recipients of support from THE NORTHERN TRUST.
The New Jersey Golf Foundation helped provide Chris with the opportunity to compete at the Special Olympics USA Games and capture two gold medals. It’s also given Ray—the coach of the New Jersey Special Olympics golf team—the chance to cherish every moment with his son. Despite begin diagnosed with terminal cancer two years ago, Ray made sure absolutely nothing got in the way of him traveling across the country and caddying for Chris during the USA Games in Seattle this summer.
“Golf has allowed me to cultivate some of my most cherished relationships, especially the special connection I share with my son, Chris, as his playing partner, coach and caddy. This game has given us so much, Chris now works in the industry and is working to become a PGA member. THE NORTHERN TRUST’s support of the New Jersey Golf Foundation allows us to introduce this wonderful sport and its many benefits to athletes with a variety of intellectual disabilities,” said Ray Harold.
“We are proud of the meaningful impact this event has on our community,” said Julie Tyson, PGA TOUR Senior Vice President, Championship Management and Executive Director of THE NORTHERN TRUST. “Through Northern Trust Corporation’s support, the staff and membership of The Ridgewood Country Club, our powerful volunteer force, and the leadership of the Mayor and County Executive of Paramus, we are honored to celebrate our Community Champions, those dedicated to youth development, health and social welfare.”
“It is a privilege to be a part of something that gives so much back to the local community,” said Michael O’Grady, Northern Trust Corp. President and Chief Executive Officer. “We look forward to continuing this powerful collaboration with the PGA TOUR, and all the future good that will come of it.”
“Northern Trust Corporation’s partnership has been the key to expanding our impact and accelerating our contributions,” said Tyson. “With the support of media and golf patrons, we will continue to elevate the tournament’s profile and further increase our support of Community Champions.”
Tournament officials kicked off this morning of charitable giving by announcing a $150,000 donation to Tackle Kids Cancer, the official charity of THE NORTHERN TRUST. In conjunction with Tackle Kids Cancer, THE NORTHERN TRUST organized the second-annual “Birdies to Benefit Tackle Kids Cancer” program. This year, the program raised $25,000 to help find a cure for pediatric cancer and to provide aid to patients and their families. Tackle Kids Cancer is the philanthropic initiative of the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack Meridian Health dedicated to finding a cure for pediatric cancer.
Patients like Dylan, 17, directly benefit from Tackle Kids Cancer, both inside and outside the ropes. Recently diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), Dylan is in his third month of treatment. An avid golfer, Dylan worked on the grounds crew at The Ridgewood Country Club prior to his diagnosis and couldn’t wait to be a part of THE NORTHERN TRUST. While his diagnosis prevented him from continuing his job at Ridgewood, Tackle Kids Cancer made it possible for Dylan to have unique access that allowed him to stand inches from the world’s best golfers. During the final two rounds of the tournament, Dylan joined several other cancer patients on the 15th hole to serve as flag bearers. They received hugs and high fives from the pros and enjoyed a terrific afternoon and respite from their illnesses.
“For two years, I looked forward to being a part of THE NORTHERN TRUST and was very disappointed that I was going to miss out. Thanks to Tackle Kids Cancer and THE NORTHERN TRUST, I was a part of this event, inside the ropes and close to the players. I wish the circumstances were different, but I am very grateful for this opportunity,” said Dylan.
Another way THE NORTHERN TRUST drives charitable impact year-round is through a program called “Tickets Fore Charity.” This program allows local non-profits to sell tickets to the tournament and retain 100 percent of the proceeds. In 2018, this program raised nearly $100,000 for local charities, and The Ridgewood Country Club sponsored a $25,000 bonus pool for charities that sold the most tickets. Some of the top recipients recognized this morning included the New Jersey Golf Foundation, Christian Health Care Center, Northern Highlands Sports Association and The First Tee of Raritan Valley.
“It was amazing to see the membership at The Ridgewood Country Club rally around this world-class event and be ambassadors for our club and the greater Paramus community,” said Rich Barclay, Tournament Chairman of The Ridgewood Country Club and tournament Volunteer Chairman. “This tournament is not only one of the best sporting events in the world—it’s a celebration of incredible people who care deeply about giving back, and what better way to do it than through the sport of golf.”
Tournament volunteers play an invaluable role in making THE NORTHERN TRUST possible. More than 1,600 volunteers across 25 committees donated more than 35,000 hours of service during the 2018 tournament. Their efforts make the funds generated by the event to local charities possible. Many of the top-performing volunteer groups were honored at today’s presentation, including the YMCA, Children’s Aid and Family Services and Social Services Association of Ridgewood and Vicinity.
In 2019, THE NORTHERN TRUST will take place August 6-11, 2019, at Liberty National Golf Club. Liberty National previously hosted THE NORTHERN TRUST in 2009 and 2013, and the course hosted the 2017 Presidents Cup. One of the world’s most picturesque golf courses, Liberty National is located along the Hudson River in Jersey City, with striking views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Manhattan skyline. The club fittingly opened on July 4, 2006 and is guided by the vision and leadership of former Reebok Founder/Chairman & CEO Paul Fireman and his son Dan Fireman.
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