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 Steve Sheridan, PGA of Meadow Brook Golf Club.
Steve Sheridan, PGA
Head Golf Professional
Meadow Brook GC
I grew up in Wakefield and started my golf experience at the old Colonial Golf Club in Lynnfield. I was introduced to the game of golf by my Dad and his brother Richard who bought lessons for me for my 12th birthday from the legendary Bob Baldassari Sr. After completing high school, I went on to The Golf Academy of the South, where I received an associate degree in Business & Golf Management. Upon graduation, I started my career at Lexington Golf Club, working for Kevin Wilczewski, PGA, for six seasons. I moved onto Kernwood Country Club to work for Frank Dully II for five seasons before I accepted the Head Professional position at Meadow Brook Golf Club in Reading. I have been a PGA Member for twenty-five years, certified in four different areas, and working towards my PGA Master in Player Development.
NEPGA: What motivated you to give back to your community?
Steve Sheridan: I got involved with charities a few years back because of my personal experience with the Children’s Hospital. I have a 17-year-old son named Jared who had a lot of medical issues over the years and after seeing other volunteers come and entertain the children while in the hospital, I felt that it would be great to be involved and give back. During the winter, while coaching hockey, I take my team in and we sign autographs, bring toys, and hang out with the kids. The 90-minutes we spend with the kids allows them to enjoy themselves and keep their minds off why they are there. It is also truly a learning experience for my hockey team that you cannot take life for granted and it makes them realize how lucky they are. Every summer, my family and I host a Family and Friends Barbeque & Cornhole Tournament which raises money for the Children’s Hospital Toy Room. When the donation is made, it puts a smile on everyone’s face who is involved with the fundraiser because they know the charity means a lot to Jared and how much Children’s Hospital has done for him.
NEPGA: What organization or program would you like to highlight?
SS: The Reading Food Pantry is a local food pantry in the heart of downtown Reading. Since the 1980s the pantry has been housed in the Old South Methodist Church, sponsored by the Reading Clergy Association, staffed by volunteers, and stocked by the monetary and nonperishable food donations of townspeople. Approximately 100 households are served by the pantry. Folks come twice a month. Right now, due to the pandemic, the number of families seeking help is at an all-time high.
NEPGA: How long have you been active with your charitable organization?
SS: Meadow Brook has been involved with the Reading Food Pantry for the past 11 years. I was approached by a member with the idea of helping those in town and doing a food drive for the pantry. I did not even realize the town had a food pantry or even a shortage of food. When I visited the pantry, I saw a sign on the wall that really woke me up. The sign said, The current euphemism for hunger is “food insecurity.” It still means not knowing where your next meal is coming from or if you will have enough to feed your kids.
NEPGA: What is the most rewarding thing about giving back to the community?
SS: The biggest reward about giving back to the community is seeing the difference that your efforts can make. Giving back to the community, however, gives you a greater sense of purpose. It is a great feeling knowing you are doing something meaningful with your services. You look forward to each time you affect positive change on people who have been touched. You may not feel like you’re making an impact with your time and efforts, but I can assure you that you’re making a big one on those who are running the charity and those who are benefiting from the charity.
NEPGA: Do you have any recommendations on how someone can start to support their community?
SS: My advice is to get involved as the difference that you can make in your community is an eye-opening experience. Do some research to see what charities are in your area. Once you have a list, pick one that you would enjoy helping. Being involved teaches you a better sense of community and widens your network, creating more opportunities for you in the future.