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New Jersey Golf Foundation receives $50K in Bucky Kavanagh's Honor to benefit Military Pillar

On November 11th, the New Jersey Golf Foundation hosted a PGA HOPE Pro Am to honor in honor of Veteran's Day. Before the Pro Am started, the New Jersey Golf Foundation was given $50,000, generously donated from Panther Valley Golf & Country Club in honor of the recently deceased Bucky Kavanagh, an active Golf Professional who had special love for the military. Dan Pasternak, President of the New Jersey Golf Foundation and General Manager at Essex Fells Country Club, shared his thoughts on Bucky's life and his lasting impact on Veteran Programming, "Bucky was a great ambassador for the game of golf, members, and guests at Panther Valley Golf & Country Club, for nearly fifty years. He made the game fun and had the uncanny ability to remember everybody's name. Bucky had great respect for our veterans, volunteering his time freely in teaching and fundraising to support the well being of our troops. We are proud to honor our friend in support of those for whom he did so much".

Francis "Bucky" Kavanagh died Sunday, November 10, 2019. The well respected and much loved Bucky, was the Golf Professional at Panther Vally Golf & Country Club since 1977. He began his 41 year career in the Golf Shop soon after winning the 1977 Club Championship at Panther Valley. Bucky was known for his intense love for golf, his infectious smile, and most of all his ability to remember the name, face, and preference of each golfer at Panther Valley. According to former members and guests who played at Panther Valley, Bucky was always welcoming and accommodating in any way possible.

Chris Hunt, Executive Director of the New Jersey Golf Foundation shared his deep appreciation to Panther Valley Golf & Country Club for their generous donation, "I need to thank the members of Panther Valley Golf & Country Club and all of Francis "Bucky" Kavanagh's friends. Funds raised in Bucky's name will be earmarked for the New Jersey Golf Foundation's Military Pillar. We look forward to working with Panther Valley's owners and members to continue to recognize Bucky's commitment to the game of golf and his love for our American heroes".

The New Jersey Golf Foundation, the charitable arm of the New Jersey Section of the PGA of America, hosted a PGA HOPE Pro Am in honor of Veteran's Day on Wednesday, November 11th. A group of 24 veterans was honored with breakfast and 9 holes of golf at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club. The event was part of the PGA's Helping Our Patriots Everywhere (HOPE) program. PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. PGA HOPE introduces golf to Veterans with disabilities to enhance their physical, mental, social and emotional well-being. Tom Wicklow, a frequent participant in the PGA HOPE Program and Marine Veteran who spent 9 months in Afghanistan, shared his thoughts on why he enjoys the PGA HOPE Program, "This has been a reason to get out of bed and come to the golf course and get out on days when I might just stay home and sit on the sofa. It's a great program, it's fun to come out and build some camaraderie with some fellow veterans and have a good day out there."

Click HERE to watch News 12's feature on the New Jersey Golf Foundation and PGA HOPE.

About the New Jersey Golf Foundation

New Jersey Golf Foundation, Inc. is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the New Jersey Section of the PGA of America. The mission of the New Jersey Golf Foundation is to positively impact lives and communities through the game of golf with a focus on three core pillars; youth, military, and special needs. For more information, visit and follow @NJGF on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

About the PGA of America

The PGA of America is one of the world’s largest sports organizations, composed of nearly 29,000 PGA

Professionals who daily work to grow interest and inclusion in the game of golf. For more information about the PGA of America, visit and follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.


Dave Miller | New Jersey Section, PGA of America |


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