144 golfers tee off to support United Way in Orleans County

Photos by Ginny Kropf: (Left) Roosevelt Bouie, a former professional basketball player who is in the Hall of Fame at Kendall and Syracuse University, greeted golfers prior to teeing off for the United Way of Orleans County golf tournament Friday at Shelridge Country Club. (Right) Jennie Staebell, left, tells golfers how funding from United Way of Orleans County has assisted her agency, Project Stork, in helping hundreds of families.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 8 June 2022 at 7:40 am

MEDINA – The community impact the United Way of Orleans County is growing every day, director Dean Bellack said, after welcoming a full field of golfers to the annual event last Friday at Shelridge Country Club.

There were 144 golfers for the tournament on a sunny day for golf, refreshments, raffles, food and prizes.

“Our golf event adds needed revenue which we return to our underfunded local charities, like Project Stork, which assists hundreds of mothers and children with basic needs which they cannot fit into their budgets,” Bellack said. “Most of the people impacted by United Way are the working poor.”

The golf event started with a welcome by Bellack, followed with comments from United Way’s board president Jackie Dunham, fundraiser and event planner Nyla Gaylord and Jenny Staebell, head of Project Stork.

Dunham said this was the 15th golf tournament she had volunteered at for United Way, and she wouldn’t miss it.

Staebell explained Project Stork was a community-based organization and a small charity which affects a lot of lives in the county.

“We support low-income families,” she said. “Each month we assist more than 235 families, 115 of them in Orleans County.”

She said the $10,500 they received from United Way helps with their programs including “Healthy Moms, Healthy Babies” and “Baby on Board.”

Photo courtesy of Melinda Rhim: This group was the winning team in the tournament. Pictured from left: Tom Hungerford, Donnell Holloway, Brian Cline and Lionel Rhim.

Next to speak was Roosevelt Bouie, who grew up in the Albion area, graduated from Kendall and played professional basketball after a Hall of Fame career at Syracuse University. He went to Italy and played there for 16 years.

Gaylord said Bouie was a friend of hers and a year ago she was talking about the tremendous needs in the community, when Bouie shared some great ideas to help the community.

As a kid, Bouie used to go to Bullard Park to play basketball.

“We’d play until we dropped,” he said.

Recently he learned a friend wanted to take her grandkids there, but the old basketball courts were gone.

“I made some calls, and a friend said his company could donate $2,500,” Bouie said.

That contributed to the push for new courts at the park. He met with Gaylord and told her he could get friends to support it. He formed the Bouie Foundation, where a 501c3 is pending. He learned the Boeheim Foundation had money to give and contacted them. With the help of Gaylord and United Way’s grant writer Matt Holland, they applied for a grant.

Bellack said they are optimistically waiting positive news very soon.

As he headed for the golf course, Bouie’s parting remark was, “I do not play golf like I play basketball.”