PGA REACH New England is excited to continue its spotlight series dedicated to sharing the goodwill and support of local communities by our PGA Professionals. Chipping In trumpets the story of individual PGA Professionals and their efforts to differentiate their facility and personal PGA Brand within the community. This month, we share the story of Head Golf Professional Matt Baran, PGA of The Ridge Club.

Matt Baran, PGA
Head Golf Professional
The Ridge Club (Sandwich, Mass.)

MB: I’d like to highlight The Ridge Club and our charitable efforts throughout the years. For over 8 years, The Ridge Club has partnered with the Sandwich Food Pantry. We are now passing the torch on to Cape Kids Meals. Our Ridge Club Women’s Golf Association has also done tremendous work on their own to support local initiatives.

What is the name of the organization or program you would like to highlight?
Sandwich Food Pantry and Cape Kids Meals.

1 in 6 children on Cape Cod are food insecure and many of these children are school aged. Most times these children participate in the free breakfast and lunch programs offered at their local schools. Weekends can be very difficult as they may eat very little until they return to school on Monday. Cape Kids Meals provides weekend nutrition to school-aged children at risk of not having access to enough food over the weekend. The program began at 2 schools in Dennis and has expanded to 26 schools across the Cape serving children from Bourne to Provincetown. Cape Kid Meals partners with schools who identify the children at risk of not having enough food over the weekend. Shelf stable food is packed weekly at one of the packing centers and then the bags are delivered to the schools each Friday. School personnel places the bags into the child’s backpack prior to dismissal.

What is the most rewarding thing about giving back to the community?
The ability to help the people around you especially during COVID.

How long have you been active with your charitable organization?
The Ridge Club has supported the Sandwich Food Pantry for eight years and the Cape Kids Meal program for the last six years.

What other organizations do you support?
The Ridge Club Women’s Golf Association raised funds for two organizations in 2020, United Way “Reach Out and Read” along with the Sandwich Food Pantry. The RCWGA contributed to these organizations during specific events throughout the season.

The club added a Habitat for Humanity Member Day in 2020 and will continue this initiative for 2021.

How has giving back to the community helped to raise awareness of your facility?
We try to stay local and help the community we live in. Our facility is at the forefront of giving back to our community for nearly a decade.

Any recommendations on how someone can start to support their community?
Reach out to your local Chamber of Commerce, there are countless opportunities in every community to get involved.