Since 2017 GCW Principal, Tom Waring **and his wife, Sara, have served as co-chairs and GCW Capital Group has served as a major sponsor for Tee It Up for the Troops Wanakah. It is a WNY golf tournament dedicated to honoring, remembering, respecting and supporting those who serve(d) in the armed forces for this great nation.
In the event's first year at Wanakah Country Club, more than $30,000 was raised and donated to three Western New York Veteran's Organizations including: Buffalo Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV), Veterans One-stop Center of WNY, Inc. and The WNY Section PGA Foundation.
Based on that inaugural success, The Warings and their TIUW Committee decided to increase their donation goal in 2018. However, when the September tournament date came around, Mother Nature interfered with the committee's best-laid plans.
On the morning of the tournament, the skies opened up with a downpour that lasted through the afternoon. The rain was so intense that Wanakah Country Club Management was forced to close their course, in effect canceling the golf outing.
With a field of 142 golfers and a roster of over 20 generous sponsors committed to benefitting WNY veterans, the TIUW committee scrambled to decide the best course of action. Ultimately, they called, emailed and texted everyone involved with the tournament to explain that while the round of golf was cancelled, the dinner and fundraising auctions would still be held.
In true WNY style, almost the entire field of golfers and sponsors showed up and gave generously. As a result, the event met the increased fundraising goal, garnering $34,000 dollars to donate to the 2018 designated veteran’s organizations.
The WNY Veteran's groups that benefitted from Tee It Up for the Troops Wanakah 2018 include:
Buffalo Healthcare for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) an office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, providing emergency, transitional and permanent housing options to homeless veterans and their families throughout the 8 eight counties of WNY.(Pictured are GCW Capital Principal, Tom Waring and HCHV Representative, Kristen Weese, from Lockport.)
Higher Ground New York Military Program a 501(c)3 organization that provides innovative sports and recreational therapy treatment programming to enhance the quality of life for members of the injured military community and the local population of children, teens, and adults of all abilities/needs.(Pictured are GCW Capital Principal, Tom Waring, WNY Section PGA Foundation Executive Director, Steve Bartkowski, from Kenmore and Treasurer of PGA REACH WNY Foundation, Jeff Mietus, from N. Tonawanda.)
WNY Section PGA Foundation created with a goal of providing support to various organizations, including veterans, in the Buffalo, Rochester, Erie and Southern Tier through the game of golf. (Pictured are GCW Capital Principal, Tom Waring and Higher Ground New York Military Program Board Chair, Roger Woodworth, from Orchard Park.)
Each organization received a check for $11,508 dollars. That amount represents almost a $1,000 dollar increase from the checks distributed by TIUW the previous year thanks to the people of the WNY community who participated as sponsors, golfers, auction donors and bidders.
Erie County has the state’s second highest veteran population. That is why the Warings, GCW Capital Group and the affiliated TIUW sponsors and volunteers are dedicated to continuing this tournament and increasingly raising funds to make a difference in the lives of WNY veterans and their loved ones.
The 2019 Tee It Up for the Troops Wanakah is scheduled for September 9th. If you'd like to know more information about Tee It Up for the Troops Wanakah go to: https://www.teeitupforthetroops.org/wanakah/