PGA REACH New England is excited to announce a new spotlight piece dedicated to sharing the goodwill and support of local communities by our PGA Professionals. Chipping-In will trumpet 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 Shawn Durocher, PGA of Cyprian Keyes Golf Club.

Shawn Durocher, PGA
Head Golf Professional
Cyprian Keyes Golf Club (Boylston, Mass.)

My oldest daughter worked as a Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at UMass Memorial Hospital on the pediatric floor. After listening to the stories of the kids, I decided to try and collect gingerbread house kits to donate to the hospital for the kids to work on while in the hospital. My facility sent out an email to the membership requesting gingerbread houses and small baby toys. The response was overwhelming and I collected over $2,000 plus several bags of toys and clothing. I asked the supervisor for a wish list of items they would like for the kids and the pediatric floor. My daughters and I purchased many items for the floor, including a video monitor, two bouncy chairs, two activity play mats, a jumper/walker as well as onesies, t-shirts, socks, snugglers and a variety of other items. We were also able to put together about 70 goodie bags for the nursing staff that included Dunkin’ Donut gift cards, hand and/or lip balm and chocolate.

What inspired you to get involved at UMass Memorial?
Any childhood issues. Listening to stories of infants/toddlers battling cancer, adolescent mental health issues, including suicide attempts and eating disorders, really struck a chord with me.

How long have you been active with the UMass Memorial Pediatric Floor?
I have tried to organize some type of fundraiser every year for the past five years

What is the most rewarding thing about giving back to the community?
The feeling of making the lives of those struggling a little better

What other organizations do you support?
Worcester County Food Bank, Why Me? / Sherry’s House

How has giving back to the community helped to raise awareness of your facility?
The amount of support that came from the membership at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club was awesome. It raised awareness on both sides. I connected with some of my members on a deeper level than just golf. I learned of several members that have children who work as NICU nurses and members that have had children/grandchildren who spent time in a pediatric facility. I also had a fairly new member tell me that, after hearing about the fundraiser, “It is things like this that only make my wife and I more confident that we play golf at a great course, with amazing people running the place”. These connections, through word of mouth, is what raises the awareness. I fully intend to continue this effort on a yearly basis with the backing of my membership and with the possibility of expanding our efforts to other clubs within the Massachusetts Chapter of the NEPGA. The connection I made at UMass Memorial Hospital was so grateful for our efforts and was left speechless.

How do you determine which charities to support?
Totally random. I try to support local charities and places.

Any recommendations on how someone can start to support their community?
Just jump in. It doesn’t matter how big or small, most organizations are happy for the help.