On the surface, this may seem like a golf story. It is not. It is a business story. It is the story of how the loss of one large business – IVB Bank – led to the demise, years ago, of a popular PGA Tour stop at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club. And how an amazing effort by small businesses in the region will bring back a professional golf tournament to Montgomery County next week.
For some people, references to the IVB Classic – the PGA Tour event that was held at Whitemarsh Valley Country Club – are scraps of ancient history. Faded, vague memories of the Greater Philadelphia area’s sports legacy, writes Tony Leodora in The Times Herald.
But, for others, they bring back vivid images of the greatest names in golf – coming to the area and being part of an event that was an annual summer festival.
LanConnect, the Norristown cabling and electrical contractor company, has a longtime connection to women’s professional golf. For a number of years they sponsored Jessica Carafiello on the then-Futures Tour and in LPGA Tour events. They became a sponsor of the Valley Forge Invitational.
Even the Elwood Park Zoo became a sponsor, agreeing to bring animals and displays to some of the events during the week.
One of the most impressive examples of community involvement took place when the Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Council became the Junior Clinic Sponsor. The CAC was founded to help youth in need and enrich the lives of young people throughout the county. Their sponsorship of the junior clinic brings awareness of their efforts … but also has a direct effect. Two of the spots in the pro-am will be taken by accomplished young golfers from the county – Julia Genuardi of Harleysville and Caleb Ryan of West Norriton.
They will play in the Pro-Am with CAC Director Stan Huskey, owner and publisher of MONTCO.Today, and engage in a mentoring program with him, designed to highlight the importance of giving back to the community. At the completion of the program they will be eligible to receive a scholarship from the Harry Mirabile Memorial Scholarship Fund of the Montgomery County Amateur Championship.
“It is all part of the larger business community coming together to build something very beneficial for the actual community we live in,” explained Huskey. “The Valley Forge Invitational is an event that Montgomery County can be proud of.”
To read the complete story click here.