York to the Power of 50: A hole-in-one for graduate scholarships

The sun was shining and skies were clear. Nothing was coming between golfers and the green at the Eighth Annual Tribute Communities – York University Chair’s Cup Golf Tournament. At the Copper Creek Golf Club in Kleinburg, Ont., golf lovers and sponsors came together on May 28 to generate $600,000 (after a two-to-one government match) in the name of graduate scholarships, making this year’s tournament the most successful to date.

Above: Celebrating the success of the tournament are, from the left, Paul Marcus, president & CEO, York University Foundation; York PhD candidate and two-time OGS recipient Karen Patte; Greg Stack, vice-president, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd.; York University President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri and York alumnus Guy Burry, tournament co-chair

In 2001, Marshall Cohen, chair of York’s Board of Governors, initiated the tournament as a “friend-raiser” and since then, playing golf to benefit students has become a York University tradition. The proceeds from this year’s tournament alone will secure scholarships for 40 York graduate students, who will each receive $15,000 through the Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) program.

Karen Patte, a PhD candidate in kinesiology & health sciences and a two-time OGS recipient, was in attendance and very grateful for the opportunities her scholarships opened up. “The graduate scholarship definitely relieves a lot of the financial pressure and allows me to focus on my research,” said Patte.

Currently in her fourth year of studies in York’s Faculty of Health, Patte is focusing her research on psychological, behavioural and genetic risk factors of overeating, obesity and eating disorders. Her dissertation examines the strong relationship that has recently been recognized between obesity and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

“Graduate students like Karen and the research they perform are crucial to the University’s future as a comprehensive research institution,” said York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri in an address to the tournament participants and sponsors. “These are the kinds of people who enjoy the fruits of your generous donations.”

Left: Douglas Peers (left), dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, congratulates the Men’s Closest to the Pin winner, Brad Hicks, vice-president, McLean Budden

To date, the Chair’s Cup has generated more than $3 million for York students and has contributed to more than 210 graduate scholarships.

The success of the tournament is due to the growing support of York’s community and the efforts of many volunteers, including tournament co-chairs Guy Burry (BA ’82), managing director, Tenth Power Inc., a York governor and chair of the York University Alumni Association (YUAA); and Greg Stack (BA ’81), vice-president of Kenaiden Contracting Ltd. and a member of the board of the YUAA.

“This golf tournament is backed by a fantastic committee that has been instrumental to its success,” said Burry as he thanked his fellow committee members. “They have been working behind the scenes for months securing sponsorships, participants and items for our tournament. We greatly appreciate their efforts.”

Paul Marcus, president & CEO of the York University Foundation, acknowledged Burry and Stack for their commitment to the tournament. “A lot falls on their broad shoulders,” he said. “They are great strategists and organizers and we thank them for their remarkable leadership, dedication and commitment to the Chair’s Cup Golf Tournament.”

Marcus went on to thank the tournament’s title sponsor, Tribute Communities, for its generous support of the tournament for the past six years. “Tribute Communities is not only an outstanding builder, but an outstanding corporate citizen with people who care,” he said. “We couldn’t have achieved the fundraising success we’ve had without them.”

Marcus also extended a special thank you to founding sponsor TD Meloche Monnex, a supporter of the tournament since its inception. “We have an excellent relationship with TD Meloche Monnex, which has been with us every step of the way,” commented Marcus.

Right: Golfers from the tournament’s title sponsor, Tribute Communities, included Steve Deveaux (left), Neil Rogers, Ray Jankelow and Scott McLellan

The evening continued with a successful live auction hosted by auctioneer Jay Mandarino, president of CJ Graphics Inc. Mandarino has generously helped the Chair’s Cup by hosting the auction for the past three years.  

Douglas Peers, dean of York’s Faculty of Graduate Studies, closed the evening’s festivities by handing out the tournament prizes, while Burry and Stack congratulated winners and announced the proceeds of the tournament for the real winners, York’s future scholarship recipients.

Transforming students’ lives by increasing scholarships and awards is a campaign priority for York to the Power of 50, the largest fundraising campaign in York’s history. The Chair’s Cup is an important contributor to the campaign, successfully supporting exceptional graduate students. To date, York has raised $160 million, more than three-quarters of the way toward its $200-million goal.

For more information, visit the York University Foundation Web site.