YMCA tees up for meaningful fundraiser

Pictured, two TEAMWORK members and a volunteer take a break from playing cornhole at last year’s tournament. (submitted photo)

When Scott Spinner became executive director of the Monroe County YMCA last September, one of the first tasks he completed was finding out what was going well at the Y. 

One tip he heard from almost everyone was the organization’s inaugural TEAMWORK Golf Classic  fundraiser, held earlier that summer, was a huge success.

With that in mind, Spinner said he had an easy decision to make.

“It was a no-brainer to make it an annual tournament,” Spinner said. 

Because of that advice, the second annual TEAMWORK Golf Classic will take place July 13 at Annbriar Golf Course beginning at noon. 

The fundraiser began after the Y started running the Transitioning Exceptional Adults into Meaningful Work program. 

Current Monroe County YMCA board member Jon Wehrenberg founded the nonprofit to help young adults with special needs become productive and independent adults after high school.

“He felt called to support a need in the community that wasn’t being met,” Spinner explained. “He felt a need to support these young men and women in this transition.”

When TEAMWORK continued growing, the Y took it over to accommodate the newly required manpower necessary to run the program. 

As part of the program, the Y provides support to the young adults through education and job training, social events, health and wellness initiatives and volunteerism. 

The program is catered toward the individual’s wants and needs. 

“We want to empower (TEAMWORK members) to live more independently,” Spinner said. “Everyone’s potential to do that is different. For some that might mean living on their own. For others it might be that their goal is just to have a job.”

Since TEAMWORK is still in its early stages at the Y, Spinner said the golf tournament is designed to help it expand the program.

“We’re going to continue to grow the program and we need funding to do it,” he said. “So this golf tournament idea was born. It’s our largest single event fundraiser of the year. It’s a neat experience overall because our TEAMWORK young men and women are out on the course too. It gets you kind of engaged because you can see and experience the cause.”

There are usually 10 or fewer individuals in the TEAMWORK program at any time. 

The tournament will have two flights of golfers among a field of a maximum of 36 foursomes.

There will be two places per flight. A flight is a grouping or division of golfers. 

The tournament will be played in a scramble format. 

Each hole will also have some sort of game for players to participate in. 

“There’s something for everyone,” Spinner said. “We’re going to have your typical longest drive, closet to the pin and the champions for the different flights, but we’re also going to have stuff for people who just want to get out and support the cause and aren’t big golfers.”

Lunch and dinner will also be included at the event. Dinner will be served after the tournament concludes, most likely around 5 p.m. 

Last year, the fundraiser saw a full field of 144 golfers. This year, Spinner said the event is on track to fill up again.

Although it has an estimate on the number of people participating, Spinner said the Y does not have a specific fundraising goal in mind. 

“Our philosophy is every dollar is important because it supports these young men and women,” he said. “We want to provide a good experience for our donors and supporters and we also want to raise as much money as we can to support a great cause.”

Spinner said the cause provides the main reason people should participate in the tournament. 

“It’s not a typical day on the golf course,” Spinner noted. “You’re supporting an amazing cause with these young men and women. And you’re going to get to meet them. You’re going to get to see your support and your dollars at work and see the amazing people you’re providing support for. I can’t think of a better reason to play golf than to support the young men and women in our TEAMWORK program. They’ll bring a smile to your face every single day.”

There are still available spots for players in the tournament.The cost is $150 per person or $600 per team. To register, go to gwrymca.org/teamworkglfclassic.

The event also has slots available for sponsors. If interested in sponsoring the fundraiser, contact Spinner by calling 2891-9622 or emailing scott.spinner@gwrymca.org

For more information on the TEAMWORK program, including how to sign up, visit gwrymca.org/teamwork

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