MGACSF Honors Contributors with 2023 Special Recognition Awards

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (MAY 14, 2024) – The MGA Caddie Scholarship Fund presented its annual Special Recognition Awards for 2023 at the Fund’s Kick-Off meeting on May 9 at Siwanoy Country Club. Each year, the Fund presents six awards to individuals and clubs to celebrate their dedication and contributions to supporting and growing the Fund.  

2023 Special Recognition Award Recipients: 

Gold Club Awards 

The MGACSF presents the annual Gold Club Awards to clubs as recognition of the consistent and generous support from its membership, whose contributions exceed $50,000. The support from these clubs has been invaluable to the Fund’s efforts. The following clubs contributed more than $50,000 to the Fund in 2023:  

Ardsley Country Club – Five-time winner
Brae Burn Country Club – First-time winner
Quaker Ridge Golf Club – 17-time winner
Shorehaven Golf Club – Four-time winner
Siwanoy Country Club – First-time winner
Sleepy Hollow Country Club – 24-time winner
Sunningdale Country Club – Nine-time winner
Westchester Country Club – 23-time winner
Winged Foot Golf Club – 23-time winner
Wykagyl Country Club – 12-time winner 


Special Club Contributor: Brae Burn Country Club 

First awarded in 1993, the Special Club Contributor Award recognizes a club that demonstrated a substantial increase in club contributions from the previous year. Brae Burn Country Club and its membership significantly increased their support of the Fund in 2023, earning the Special Club Contributor Award. MGACSF Director Dr. Ronald Weissman represented Brae Burn in the Annual Golf Marathon in August 2023 with fellow members Wendy Weissman and Howard Silverman. Together, they played 67 holes to raise awareness and support for the Fund. 

John Connor and Dr. Ronald Weissman

Willie Turnesa Outstanding Club Contributor: Winged Foot Golf Club 

For the seventh time, Winged Foot Golf Club was recognized as the Willie Turnesa Outstanding Club Contributor, an honor presented to a supporting club based on the total contributions, per capital contributions, percent increases, and consistency in giving to the Fund. The membership at Winged Foot has been an extraordinary supporter of the Fund and youth caddies. The club continues to support the MGACSF general fund in addition to the Paul Dillion and Tom Nieporte, Sr. Memorial Endowed Scholarships. MGACSF Director Brad Steinthal accepted the award on behalf of Winged Foot.  

John Connor and Brad Steinthal

Caddie Manager Outstanding Service Award: Gary Penebre 

Gary Penebre, Director of Operations at The Country Club of Darien, was presented with the Caddie Manager Outstanding Service Award for his efforts in going above and beyond to support the Fund. Since Penebre’s tenure began at the club, he quickly became involved with the Fund and regularly participates in the Annual Golf Marathon. His marathon pledges have generated an average of more than $20,000 per year and thanks to his participation, the club’s annual club contribution has significantly grown. Penebre is dedicated to nurturing youth caddies and under his guidance, The Country Club of Darien continues to produce top-notch caddie scholars. 

John Connor and Gary Penebre

Sally Francis Alumni Award: John F. Connor 

 Named for one of the Fund’s original supporters, Sally Francis, this award is presented to an outstanding alum for his or her continued support, service, and loyalty. Current MGACSF President John Connor has exemplified these characteristics, earning him the Sally Francis Alumni Award. Connor caddied at Winged Foot Golf Club and attended Fordham University with the help of a caddie scholarship. After graduating in 1979, he proudly served our country as a Marine, then went on to have a successful career in finance. Connor has been a model caddie alumnus by giving back so much of his time, talent, and treasure for many years. Among his many contributions, those that have had recent significant impact are: reigniting the Fund’s commitment to youth caddies and their development, the genesis and gifts to the Alumni Endowed Scholarship, redefining the scholarship and award structure, leadership of the Fund’ rebrand, and continued participation in all events.  

John Connor

Udo Reinach Award of Distinction: Gregory Hickey 

The Udo Reinach Award of Distinction is presented to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding service and support of the Fund in the form of time, impact, and contributions. This year’s recipient, Greg Hickey, has worked with determination to strengthen the effect of the MGACSF on the community through his efforts in founding, growing, and promoting the Christopher C. Hickey Golf Invitational and Christopher C. Hickey Scholarship, an MGACSF Named Scholarship. Over the CCH Invitational’s eight years at The Country Club of Darien, the event has raised more than $1 million for the Fund. The CCH Invitational, played in honor of Hickey’s late twin brother, continues to be one of the largest one-day fundraisers for the MGACSF and has helped award 23 CCH Scholarship recipients.  

John Connor and Greg Hickey

The MGACSF extends a special thank you to all clubs, club members, individuals, and groups who continue to make a difference in the lives of young men and women in service to golf in pursuit of their education.