An open house was recently held at the Wharton Golf Center on the property, where AT&T gave the organization $1,000 to expand programming. Return To Golf combines rehabilitation-based golf fitness and recreational therapy for the local physically disabled community, provided free of charge.
Kevin Lynch of AT&T kicked off the open house at the Wharton Golf Center at North Olmsted (Ohio) Golf Club by giving officials from the Return To Golf program, which aids veterans in dealing with physical disabilities, a $1,000 check to expand programming, the Avon Lake, Ohio-based West Life reported.
The Wharton Golf Center is the headquarters for the Northern Ohio Golf Association Charities & Foundation, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit wing of the Northern Ohio Golf Association. The 4,500-sq. ft. Wharton Golf Center offers state-of-the-art facilities for year-round programming, including an indoor golf range and a rehabilitation-based fitness training center. The nine-hole, executive layout of our North Olmsted Golf Club is the perfect fit for program participants.
Lynch noted more than 50 people attended the event at the golf center for a tour of the one-of-a-kind facilities designed to individually help participants and to learn about the programming being offered each week, West Life reported.
The open house attendees were a mix of rehabilitation professionals, potential program participants, donors and members of the local business community. The event was sponsored by Leimkuehler Inc., a local family business founded by a veteran that provides for the prosthetic and orthotic needs of people in Northeast Ohio since 1948. The Return To Golf program is a free weekly program and part of the Northern Ohio Golf Association Charities and Foundation, fitting Leimkuehler’s work in the community, West Life reported.
“This is part of what the people and groups involved with this do, so we’re glad to help out as well,” Lynch said. “The Return To Golf program helps different veterans on a regular basis.”
Event attendees were able to check out the different facilities and people involved in the program. Frank Rihtar, the director, and Trevor Hazen, the program director, said they like being involved with the program, saying it changes lives, West Life reported.
“We’re involved with a wide range of people,” Rihtar said. “There are people who are recovering from strokes, brain injuries, in some cases, amputations. We work with a lot of different people,” he said.
Bob Norton of Olmsted Falls, an U.S. Air Force veteran, said he utilizes the program and facilities often. “I had a bad car accident and suffered some severe injuries and trauma in it,” he said. “They’ve helped with instruction and coming back from my problems. They also have great equipment for people to work with in the Return To Golf (program). All the people are good to work with, too. The staff care about people and work with them in different ways.”
Hazen said all the work done by Norton has paid off. “He’s here a lot,” Hazen said. “We always enjoy seeing him, and the other people involved see him and his work, too, so it’s a good thing for us.”
Rihtar said the program utilizes innovative programming that helps veterans improve balance and coordination, and regain their strength and their self-esteem. “We put a lot into it,” he said. “It’s more than just one area, our focus is to make the person better, by getting them into a program like golf they can enjoy by themselves and with other people.”
North Olmsted Mayor Kevin Kennedy, who attended the event, said he’s glad it’s in North Olmsted. “We’re fortunate to have a program like this helping veterans,” he said.
For further information, visit www.returntogolf.org.