The Colorado PGA REACH Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and is the philanthropic arm of the Colorado PGA Section, one of 41 geographical sections of the PGA of America. The Colorado PGA is home to 825 PGA Professionals and Associates dedicated to serving and growing the game of golf.
The Youth Pillar of COLORADO PGA REACH seeks to improve and advance opportunities for youth. Introduction to the sport at an early age has proven to provide great opportunities in the area of education, health and wellness, and character building.
COLORADO PGA REACH programming will ensure that cost doesn’t prohibit youth from entering the sport and will serve as a central role in the golf industry’s effort to introduce the sport to youth of all ages and backgrounds in a safe, fun environment.
Colorado PGA Golf in Schools Program is an introductory program at absolutely no cost to the students and no cost to the schools. The program, in partnership with the Colorado Open Golf Foundation, has been bringing golf to schools for the past four years where over 38,000 kids have been introduced to the game in over 160 schools.
The program is built on the synergy created between the participating school, the PGA Golf Professional, and the host Golf Facility. The program offers:
Colorado PGA Golf in Schools is supported by the Colorado Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, and the curriculum has been developed, in part, by our partnership with youth development and education experts with Aurora Public Schools.
In 2014, the Colorado PGA introduced a team-format youth golf program with outstanding participation results. More than 350 junior golfers across the Front Range experienced golf in an innovative team format. With ambitions of expanding the program exponentially over the next few years, the Colorado PGA is pleased to partner with PGA Junior League Golf to continue the tradition of a team-focused opportunity for young players to enter the game.
PGA Junior League Golf (PGA JLG) is designed to better socialize the game for boys and girls, ages 13 and under. PGA JLG features team vs. team competitions in structured leagues that provide a popular, less stressful scramble format as opposed to stroke-play competition.
Golf’s version of Little League baseball has seen significant growth since its inception as a pilot program in 2012. PGA Junior League teams consist of at least 10 players, managed by a PGA Professional, with each player receiving a uniform and PGA instruction. The format is focused on fun and recreation, and is a great way to begin in the sport.
Local Leagues consist of a minimum of four teams. At the conclusion of the regular season, an All Star team for the league is chosen. Those All Star teams compete for the Regional Championship with the Regional winners moving on to compete for the National Championship.
Multiple major champion Rory McIlroy has recently signed onto to become an ambassador for PGA Junior League Golf.
The Military Pillar of COLORADO PGA REACH seeks to improve the physical, mental, and social rehabilitation of our military heroes and their families through the sport of golf. The lifetime sport of golf has proven to be excellent for activity and competition, but has also allowed military personnel to assimilate back into their community through the social interaction the game provides. In recognition and thanks for the sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform, the Colorado PGA has, and will continue to engage in the following Military initiatives:
The Colorado PGA recognizes the need for qualified, well trained professionals to take part in any and all efforts related to our Military Pillar. As such, the Colorado PGA has partnered with the PGA of America and the Adaptive Golf Academy of Tampa to provide adaptive golf training to PGA Professionals and industry partners. Classroom and downrange training, along with hands-on experience with volunteer wounded warriors enables our PGA Professionals to better help those with physical and mental challenges as a result of their service.
Helping our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) is a year round program designed to keep interested veterans playing golf in order to embrace their mental, social, physical and emotional well-being. PGA Hope includes an introduction to the sport of golf, golf instruction, playing opportunities and social events.
The founding chapter of PGA HOPE within the Colorado Section borders is located at Cheyenne Shadows Golf Course at Fort Carson and was launched in 2014. The Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB) at Ft. Carson serves as a temporary assignment for soldiers who are recovering from major service-induced injuries. Through a partnership with the WTB at Ft. Carson, and with the support of the PGA Professionals at Cheyenne Shadows GC, the PGA HOPE program was able to provide an introductory golf experience, playing and social events for more than 100 wounded warriors and their families all at no cost to the soldier or their support system.
In coming years, the Colorado PGA hopes to expand the HOPE Program across the Section boundaries to serve our wounded heroes in all of our communities.
If you are interested in being a part of one of the Colorado PGA HOPE programs, let us know by CLICKING HERE.
Each year, the week of February 14th has been designated “Visit a Veteran” week by the Veterans Administration. The Colorado PGA and its Member Professionals have taken up that charge. For each of the past 5 years, PGA Professionals have come together, with the support of our partners, to spend a day at the Denver VA, visiting veterans in all areas of the hospital to simply spend a few minutes thanking them for their service and providing them with a Colorado PGA hat and lapel pin, a small token of our gratitude.
Diversity and inclusion are core values and a focus of COLORADO PGA REACH and we embrace the spirit of differences.
We work each and every day at the Colorado PGA to have our commitment to diversity and inclusion resonate throughout the organization, the activities, programs and business we conduct. We strive to look through a lens of diversity and inclusion at all times. As the Colorado PGA serves its members and grows participation in golf, we help drive the awareness that golf is in fact affordable, welcoming and fun for all individuals regardless of age, gender, ability, background or lifestyle.
Each year COLORADO PGA REACH awards Pillar Grants to local PGA Members and golf facilities that offer programming that strives to make golf inclusive of people from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds and for individuals with disabilities. In 2018, more than $30,000 in grant funding was distributed to Colorado PGA Members who had developed programs and opportunities that met our strict Diversity & Inclusion guidelines.
In support of our commitment to ensure that the future of our industry is served by the best and brightest, we are pleased to announce the formation of a Diversity Scholarship Program. Beginning in 2015, Colorado PGA REACH will partner with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Professional Golf Management Program (UCCS PGM) to award a Diversity-based Scholarship to produce future golf industry leaders from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
The United States Olympic Committee’s FLAME (Finding Leaders Among Minorities Everywhere) program provides high school, college and graduate-level students with an intensive look into the corporate world of elite sport. The program offers an exciting and rigorous curriculum aimed at increasing knowledge of the Olympic and Paralympic movements, and providing participants with personal and professional development.
The Colorado PGA has partnered with the United States Olympic Committee’s FLAME program to introduce golf as a career enhancement option to a dedicated group of diverse college-age students enrolled in the USOC’s sports leadership program. The introduction of golf as a vehicle for professional development by PGA Professionals to a group of high-performing students is crucial to the diversification of both the participant base of golf and to the future leaders in the sports industry.
In partnership with the PGA Professionals at the venerable Broadmoor Golf Club, the students are introduced to golf in a dynamic, hands-on immersion day during which they are provided instruction by volunteer PGA Professionals and have a unique opportunity to take part in a leadership mentoring session with golf industry leaders and peers. The program was so successful in 2014 that several members of the FLAME program have elected to accept internships at the Broadmoor for 2015.
From homelessness to owning a mortgage-free home, former U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Steven Klimtzak rode a wave of emotions as he received the keys to his new home in Boston, N.Y., just outside of Buffalo.
“I was scared as I was going through the process with the Military Warriors Support Foundation. Not scare for me but for my boys,” shared Klimtzak. “I was homeless and had moved back in with my mom. Because of my situation, I didn’t get to see my boys a lot. Today, I have a house that we can make our home. I am speechless. This is the greatest gift. Someone is looking out for me and my boys.”
It was all pomp and circumstance as the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation held its annual REACH Invitational Golf Tournament on Wednesday, July 17, 2019, at The Golf Club at Bear Dance where tribute was paid to Klimtzak for his service and sacrifice to our country. Bagpipers led the Marine onto the course where the American flag was hoisted for the very first time onto the newly installed pole. Everyone stood at attention as the trumpeter sounded the National Anthem.
“Steven definitely earned the respect and admiration of everyone attending the event on Wednesday,” comments Stuart Bruening, co-partner of Southwest Greens. “He is a shining example of the dedication of those who serve our country and we are proud to be able to support them in return.”
At its largest fund-raiser of the year, the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation, with the support and dedication of its trustees, raised more than $85,000 to support its many programs. This includes the $25,000 donation from Southwest Greens that makes this home give-away possible.
Joining the Marine Corp was a challenge for Klimtzak. Not only did he want to follow in the shoes of his uncle, but the Marine Corp is the toughest branch of the military and he wanted to prove to himself, as well as to those that said he could never do it, that he could. He never quite and joyfully joined the ranks of the Marines – the best of the best! By doing so, he became a part of a brotherhood.
Fighting through his emotions, Klimtzak described the events of September 1, 2004, at 12:01 p.m. when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a road-side bomb. He credits the driver and his ability to keep the vehicle on the road for saving the lives of everyone inside. They were heading to a local Iraqi school to assess how they could help them and to deliver school supplies, soccer balls and basketballs when the IED struck their vehicle. This incident earned him a Purple Heart.
“I didn’t get into the Marine Corp for awards,” said Klimtzak. “The group to which I was attached, the 4th Civil Affairs Group, was trained to win the hearts and minds of the local Iraqi’s and to work closely with local Iraqi’s and tribes. I feel that we completed our mission. I was there for the first National election, worked with the water treatment plant, sewage plants and banks to name a few. We had a purpose there and we could go to bed each night knowing that we had made a difference.”
When asked about the impact this experience has had on him and his family, he quoted Robin Williams from the movie Mrs. Doubtfire, “Like air, I can’t live without it and I can’t live without my boys. My boys are everything to me. Having this home helps us to build our future and to grow our relationship stronger each day. I have the chance to be their dad and to instill in them morals and to show them what respect and kindness to others is all about.”
While in Colorado, Klimtzak had the opportunity to be fit for a new set of clubs by PGA Professional Brian Gott, Gott Golf. The Colorado PGA REACH trustees personally presented the clubs to Klimtzak during the pre-event ceremony, filling his new golf bag with a gift he will long remember and definitely use as he played a total of 184 rounds in 2018. He shared that his family was always all about baseball. Yet, growing up, he was the kid in the outfield picking dandelions, so he took up golf, which is a much better fit for him. Golf has taught him discipline and patience and he enjoys those moments when he can take his boys out to the course and share his passion with them.
“It was an honor to be able to gift a golfer like Steven a new set of clubs,” says Eddie Ainsworth, PGA, Colorado PGA Executive Director and CEO. “He served his country honorably by risking his life for our freedom. Being able to give back to him was a real privilege and blessing.”
The success of this program can be attributed to the many organizations that work together toward the common goal of facilitating a smooth and successful transition of our nation’s combat wounded heroes. The Military Warriors Support Foundation evaluates and selects deserving combat-wounded heroes to receive mortgage-free homes. Wells Fargo contributes and remodels homes that it then donates to the program. Colorado PGA REACH Foundation, through its Supporting Our Military Pillar, provides the avenue to donate the home and Southwest Greens, through the profits of its Mile-High Golf Trail Program,
provided the funding for the home give-away. These funds will provide family and financial mentoring to assure the hero is given the necessary tools to be successful with this newly attained investment.
How many of you have ever found yourselves saying, or even thinking, “What is up with the younger people today?” And, if you ARE one of the younger people, how many of YOU have ever found yourselves saying or even thinking, “What is up with the older people today?”
This was the keynote-speaker introduction given to the 130 women who attended the 2019 Colorado PGA REACH Women’s Leadership Summit held at Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs on Monday, July 15. As a speaker, author and consultant, Liotta helped attendees understand and optimize each generation’s gifts, talents and time. Being the youngest girl of 19 children, Liotta grew up in the midst of the multi-generational front lines making every family Thanksgiving, graduation or wedding a graduate-level course in generational communication. Whether attendees were a Traditionalist, Baby Boomer, Gen Xer, Millennial or Global, Liotta entertained and educated them with thoughts on how we perceive others and enhance our relationships with everyone we know.
Through laughter and engagement, Liotta’s take-away message was that when we understand a generations (be)cause, it activates their natural gifts, their talents, their spirit and their inspiration. Understanding the generational DNA code of other generations can prove to be fulfilling, rewarding and empowering both personally and professionally.
Following the theme of diversity, The Honorable Sue Payton, President of SCI Aerospace, Inc., moderated a panel of local business women who shared their experiences in the business world. On the panel were:
“The PGA REACH 2019 Women’s Leadership Summit was a success in so many ways,” comments Payton. “The Summit brought together 130 women with very diverse backgrounds who were amazed and inspired by our keynote speaker, Anna Liotta, as she helped everyone understand how to “effectively communicate and develop meaningful relationships with members of all generations not only in the workplace but in everyday life.” The Summit did more than just admire the problem and barriers to understanding “what makes each generation tick.” The Summit, through audience participation and dialog with Anna and a panel of very successful women leaders, gave women great ideas and tools to use to improve not only their company’s culture, recruitment and retention activities but also to improve their relationships with family and friends.”
As part of paying it forward, the REACH Foundation awards a scholarship to a deserving young lady. This year, the selection committee deemed the top four scholarship applicants all worthy to receive a scholarship. Each receiving a $1,000 scholarship were Regina Dillon, student at UCCS in Colorado Springs; Marissa Garcia, student at Hastings College; Kate Griffin of Colorado Springs; and Courtney Thompson also of Colorado Springs.
Mark your calendars to attend the Colorado PGA REACH Women’s Leadership Summit in 2020 when it will be held in conjunction with the 72nd U.S. Girls’ Junior Golf Championship hosted on the U.S. Air Force Academy on Friday, July 10, 2020.
The Colorado PGA REACH Women’s Leadership Summit serves as a catalyst to empower women on and off the golf course. The Colorado PGA REACH Foundation is committed to partnering with top women leaders to pay it forward to next-generation women leaders. The Summit is focused on the development, advancement and empowerment of women by providing content, tools, mentoring and networking opportunities to support their career advancement. Visit us at: https://coloradopga.com/colorado-pga-reach.
Inspiring Greatness ~ Generational Diversity – That’s the theme of the Colorado PGA REACH Women’s Leadership Summit being held on Monday, July 15, 2019, at The Country Club of Colorado. Headlining the event is Anna Liotta who engages the hearts, minds and spirits of her audiences as she discusses Generational Diversity.
The event is open to any and all females regardless of their connection to the game of golf. PGA Professionals and Associates are encouraged to attend to learn from business leaders outside of the golf industry. So, please share this information with your friends and colleages and plan to spend a day with other inspiring and successful women discussing Generational Diversity and hearing from our panel of women business leaders.
Also, this is an additional opportunity for female high-school seniors progressing toward a four-year undergraduate degree or a female college student with at least one full year of school remaining in the 2019-2020 academic year to compete for a $2,500 scholarship. See the additional information below.
Securing Keynote Speaker, Anna Liotta, to present a topic that is so relevant today is very exciting. Anna engages the hearts, minds and spirits of her audiences. while challenging them to answer the question, “What is worth giving my full being to?“.
Take a moment to watch this short video of Anna’s Generational Keynote. We are sure you will be propelled to join us for this day of enlightenment and education. Click the image to view.
|CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!|
Here are the details:
The Golf Club at Bear Dance will be hosting the Colorado PGA REACH Invitational. Once again, Colorado PGA REACH, in partnership with Mile High Golf Trail Fore Pack, will be presenting a mortgage-free, move-in ready home to a deserving Veteran during a pre-golf ceremony. This can’t-miss event is a one-day, all-inclusive tournament that partners a team of three amateurs with one of our Colorado PGA Professionals in a fun, casual environment. Player gifts this year include a pair of FootJoy Golf Shoes and Callaway Golf Balls.
Register here: Colorado PGA REACH Invitational.
Davis, Talaga, Kenealy, Faulkenberry and Gunnersen Add Expertise as Trustees
The Colorado PGA Reach Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of three new trustees to its Board: Dr. Stephen Davis, Mike Talaga, Eric Kenealy, Major General Barbara Faulkenberry, USAF, Retired, and Tom Gunnersen .
Davis has always had a passion for serving his community, which is what inspired him to earn his Eagle Scout rank while growing up in the South Bay of Los Angeles. He was awarded the University of Southern California School of Dentistry’s highest award for community outreach for his work around the world. Davis is part of the Cheyenne Mountain Dental Group in Colorado Springs.
Talaga joined Janus Henderson Investors as a Credit Analyst in 2015. Prior to this, he served as a Vice President for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Global Investment Bank where he helped corporate and private equity clients originate and execute capital markets and merger and acquisition transactions.
Kenealy serves as Chairman of Mackinaw Holding Corporation, a private equity investment group specializing in acquiring and operating businesses in the Rocky Mountain region. He was also a success operator of multiple Massage Envy locations from 2005 until 2019, where he was recognized for developing several of the top performing stores in the United States.
Faulkenberry is an independent director at two public companies. She has led organizations as diverse as a 37,000-person global air logistics operation to the Air Force’s sole leadership development college for officers. In 2014, Faulkenberry retired from the United States Air Force as a Major General after a 32-year career.
Gunnersen has been helping clients address their financial goals for the last two decades. He began his career as a financial advisor with Edward Jones, was recruited by UBS Financial Services and is currently with Wells Fargo Advisors. Gunnersen earned his degree in Economics at the University of Buffalo.
Recipients of the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation’s Pillar Grants were announced during the 2019 Spring Business Meeting on Monday, March 25. The mission of the Pillar Grant Program is to provide financial assistance to facilities within the geographic boundaries of the Colorado Section to develop and/or significantly enhance growth of the game programs that align with the Three Pillars of our Foundation to attract and retain new golfers.
“Following the direction of our Board of Directors and our Colorado PGA REACH Foundation Trustees, we updated the grant program this year to support programs that directly align with the three Pillars of our Foundation – Youth, Military and Diversity & Inclusion,” comments Ben Welsh, PGA, President of the Colorado Section. “We couldn’t be more proud of the programs that were selected and to support our PGA Members in using the resources raised by our Trustees to further grow the game of golf here in Colorado and make a direct impact on the communities they serve.”
Grant awards and Foundation Pillars align as follows:
• Youth Development Programs – Golf in Schools and PGA Junior League;
• Supporting Our Military Programs – PGA HOPE; and
• Diversity & Inclusion Programs – Specifically reaching, benefits and involving Women and Minorities.
Colorado PGA REACH Trustee Chair, Spencer Zinn, continues by saying, “I believe I speak for the entire Board of Trustees for Colorado PGA REACH when I say that we are very pleased to be able to support all of these programs through our grant program. It’s programs like these, and the many outstanding Colorado PGA Professionals that run and facilitate them, that are the driving force behind the Colorado PGA REACH Foundation being responsible for moving the needle in growing the game of golf in Colorado.”
The Colorado PGA REACH Grant and Scholarship Committee recommended to the Board of Directors the approval of the following Pillar Grants:
• Leighton Smith Golf – Leighton Smith – “Swingin’ Teens” High School Mentor Program
• Legacy Ridge Golf Course – Joseph Carlton – Golf Westminster Youth Player Development
• Flatirons Golf Course – Tom Buzbee – Tuesday Morning Youths
• River Valley Ranch/ Youth Golf Colorado – Stephen VanDyke – Golf in the Park
• Eagle Vail Golf Club – Ryan Flamm – Ladies on the Links
• The Golf Club at Bear Dance – Cyrus Twete – PGA HOPE
• Buffalo Run Golf Course – Paul Hebinck – PGA HOPE
• Fossil Trace Golf Club – Jim Hajek – PGA HOPE
• Plum Creek Golf Course – Bo Heidrick – PGA HOPE
• Vail Valley – Ryan Flamm – PGA HOPE
• 1st Tee Pikes Peak – Maggie Hartman
• 1st Tee Denver – Scott Rethlake
• 1st Tee Green Valley Ranch – Matt Byrant
“It has always been the goal of the Foundation and our Trustees to increase the level of financial support we are able to provide to our Colorado PGA Members. Through recent growth of our Colorado PGA REACH Foundation, we’re now able to give back to our Colorado PGA Members and their families more than ever. We couldn’t be more delighted to share this growth and we will continue to look for additional ways to support our membership,” said Jim Hajek, PGA, Vice-President of the Colorado Section and Board Liaison to the Colorado PGA REACH Board.
Colorado PGA Members continue to do a great job of reaching potential golfers through Golf In Schools Programs. In the spring session alone, nearly 6,800 students are being given an opportunity to swing a golf club through instruction during physical education classes.
In the last six months, Northern Colorado has experienced a large expansion of its Golf In Schools programs with sessions now being held in elementary schools in Johnstown, Berthoud, Fort Collins and Estes Park, to name a few. Between Fall 2018 and the Spring 2019, 11 new schools in Northern Colorado have signed up to participate in this free program.
Golf In Schools participants getting a closer look at the science
golf-course maintenance by watching a cup-cutting demonstration.
Chief Commercial Officer
West Edge Energy
Brigadier General USAF
Colorado Golf and Turf
Southwest Greens Management
VP Sales & Marketing
Golf Division of Garb, Inc.
Six Points Consulting
Cheyenne Mountain Dental
PSA Worldwide Corp., Inc.
Callon Petroleum / USA Truck
Retired - Major General USAF
United States Olympic Endowment
Senior Vice President
El Pomar Foundation
Wells Fargo Advisors
President - Specialty Lending and Business Banking
Lieutenant Colonel USAF
Mackinaw Holding Corporation
Navy Captain, Retired
Chair - Chief of Staff
Financial Advisor | Vice President
Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc.
Regional Manager - Business Banking
Vice President of Employee Benefits
Cherry Creek Insurance Group
SCI Aerospace Inc.
Director, Business Development, Global Land Forces
Northrop Grumman Corporation
Fixed Income Analyst
Janus Henderson Investors
Chief Revenue Officer
Ent Credit Union