Summerfield wins OGA Member Club of the Year Award

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Following the Summerfield Women’s Golf Club’s fall luncheon, Ryan Melnychuk (left), OGA director of membership and outreach, posed with Mary Kerns (center), the club’s handicap chair who submitted the application, and Barbara Kelley (right), who chaired the club’s Caring Closet fundraiser for the past three years. Barbara Sherman/Tigard Life
Following the Summerfield Women’s Golf Club’s fall luncheon, Ryan Melnychuk (left), OGA director of membership and outreach, posed with Mary Kerns (center), the club’s handicap chair who submitted the application, and Barbara Kelley (right), who chaired the club’s Caring Closet fundraiser for the past three years. Barbara Sherman/Tigard Life
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The Oregon Golf Association has chosen the Summerfield Women’s Golf Club as the 2023 OGA Member Club of the Year, and Summerfield club leaders were able to keep the secret until it was announced at their Oct. 26 Closing Luncheon to mark the end of the 2023 season.

After lunch, announcements and handing out awards, Mary Kerns, who as the club’s handicap chair had submitted the winning application for the award to the OGA, stepped up to the podium to speak.

“We want to celebrate what a wonderful year we have had,” she said. “It was challenging, unique and fun. I want to thank you for being so patient, so understanding and so helpful.”

Then she announced a special guest: Ryan Melnychuk, the OGA’s director of membership and outreach, who said, “One of my favorite parts of the job is going to the different OGA clubs and seeing how they are organized and their impact on their communities. Congratulations on your accomplishments this year. I came here in 2021 to present (golf course superintendent) Zach Palmer with the OGA Superintendent of the Year Award, so it sounds like you haven’t skipped a beat.”

After Melnychuk announced that Summerfield was the 2023 OGA Member Club of the Year, and everyone in the room cheered and applauded, he added, “This is really exciting. We have 316 member clubs and 15,000-plus members, and I get to hear cool stories of how clubs are impacting their communities. Your application showed how your donations to the Caring Closet have increased year over year.”

Melnychuk said he wanted to recognize Barbara Kelley, who organized the Caring Closet fundraisers in 2021, 2022 and 2023. “I am touched by what you have done and how you have impacted the community,” he said.

In her application to the OGA, Kerns stated that the Tigard-Tualatin School District’s Caring Closet provides clothing, bedding and hygiene products to students in need, and last year it served 1,800 students to help keep them in school.

The amount raised each year through raffles, silent auctions and other events has grown exponentially: 2019 – $7,000; 2020 – $9,500; 2021 – $10,675; 2022 – $14,000, and 2023 – $19,000.

Kerns noted in the application that the majority of the 112 Summerfield club members are in their 70s and 80s and “very active OGA golfers.”

Following the luncheon, Melnychuk said, “This is an impressive accomplishment. Clubs that do things like this deserve recognition.”

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