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Links to Leadership Charity Golf Tournament: A Day of Connecting, Learning, Growing

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The second annual Links to Leadership Charity Golf Tournament, played at the Albany Country Club in Voorheesville, New York, in early September, benefited Capital District Women’s Employment and Resource Center, or WERC. Kay McMahon, honorary chair and PGA Professionals Hall of Fame instructor and former HERLIFE Magazine cover feature, hosted her trademark Golf 8.5 clinic, giving new golfers a chance to participate alongside the event.

This unique golf tournament aims to attract both novice and seasoned golfers. Participants played a round of golf or attended a four-hour Intro to Golf workshop hosted by McMahon, creator of Golf 8.5.-Simple Steps to a Classic Swing. At the first event in 2021, over $35,000 was raised for WERC. This year the event raised even more and featured key sponsors including Death Wish Coffee, Merrill® a Bank of America Company, Insightpath LLC, Monticello, Licensed Real Estate Broker, MicroKnowledgeINC® Training and Consulting and Alaant Workforce Solutions.

Links to Leadership, an organization consisting of women leaders in the community, is based in the Capital Region of New York State. WERC, a not-for-profit organization, works to advance women’s success in the workplace by building their economic and personal independence, and helps women from all backgrounds and situations with one commonality: the need to find employment. A loss of financial support due to separation or divorce, personal job loss or that of a spouse, layoff, disability or death are a few of the circumstances in which WERC responds to women in need. 

HERLIFE Magazine sponsored women from the Capital Region Professional Women of Color, or CRPWC, to attend the clinic and learn the game of golf. “It was an honor to sponsor women from CRPWC. As a woman of color, I grew up with the game of golf. My father was a fan of the game and many years ago, when people of color did not have access to private clubs, he co-founded the first black golf league in the Capital Region that played each week at Schenectady Municipal Golf Course. There is a bench at the course dedicated to the co-founders of that league,” affirmed Angela Beddoe, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of HERLIFE Magazine. “Today, golf is a game that’s approachable for people from all walks of life and all genders to play. It is a game that builds character because you are truly challenging yourself and managing the course, much like the way we deal with life. So, bringing more women of color in to learn to play the game is a passion project of mine.” 

Each woman who attended the event feels more in touch, more inspired and professionally connected. Elizabeth Miller Guthier, PHR, SHRM-CP, executive director at the Capital District Women’s Employment & Resource Center, noted, “Everyone at WERC is so appreciative for the Links to Leadership founders Georgia Kelly and Terry Nawrot, honorary chair Kay McMahon, LPGA Hall of Fame Instructor, and all of the volunteers who ran a successful and fun event. Through this fundraiser with more than 200 guests, WERC expanded its constellation, bringing in more ambassadors, volunteers, students and employer connections, resulting in raising funds for WERC’s training programs serving women in transition in need of finding employment.”

“We are grateful for the generosity of all of the Links to Leadership sponsors, golfers, volunteers and committee members,” said Georgia Plavocos Kelly, CRPC, CPFA, senior vice president, senior advisor, portfolio manager, Merrill Wealth Management and co-founder of Links to Leadership. “The energy and joy on the course, the clinic and the reception were evidence that Links to Leadership is a movement, not just an event.” 

Terry Nawrot, co-founder at Links to Leadership and CEO and co-founder of video marketing platform InsightPath LLC, added, “I recognize the benefits that playing golf has brought to my business career. With Georgia, Kay and the rest of the committee members, we are building a golf event for present and future leaders to network and develop golfing skills. It is a lot of work to put together an event like this, but it is completely worth it. We are raising money for a female-focused charity and welcoming newbie golfers to golf with the clinic.” 

“The 2022 Links to Leadership Clinic and Tournament was a great success. Congrats to all of our new Golf 8.5ers who participated in the clinic. They are now leaders and influencers in the office and on the course. Thanks for a great day and keep your head up; it’s all in the attitude!” exclaimed Kay McMahon, who, in addition to her other roles, is president of Women in the Golf Industry, or WIGI, and provides golf training for Fairway for Warriors, an organization through which the camaraderie and challenges of golf aid combat wounded veterans’ journeys toward rehabilitation and healing. 

“The Links to Leadership golf outing was a great time to connect with women in the Capital Region,” shared Yolanda Caldwell, clinic participant and chief diversity officer, The College of Saint Rose, inaugural director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and Bold Women’s Leadership Network at the college. “We regularly engage to support, celebrate and educate; this gave us a time to play while supporting a women’s empowerment organization. The organizers, sponsors, Kay and her team gave the clinic participants a wonderful experience as we learned the game of golf; a few of us may become regulars on the links!”

Anzala B. Wilson-Alozie, JD, executive director and CEO of Women of Color Network, has also graced the cover of HERLIFE Magazine. She described her participation in the clinic as a positive effort. “The Links to Leadership golf clinic was a fun and incredibly beneficial experience. I had a wonderful time regaining comfort being on a course while learning the golf skill fundamentals. Of course, the bonus was doing this alongside women leaders who are friends as well as colleagues. In addition to golfing, we had the opportunity to talk about our current work and strategize. Overall, it was wonderful day of connecting, learning and growing.”

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