August 1, 2019 – The WGA Caddie Scholarship Fund is pleased to announce its 11th endowed scholarship, established July 2019, in honor of Mr. Joe Germano.
The “Joe Germano Endowed Scholarship” will be awarded to eligible students who have caddied and/or worked in service to golf at any WGACSF participating club who are enrolled in a ROTC program. This scholarship may be presented for the first time in the 2020-21 academic year and will provide additional opportunities for financial aid to eligible and deserving candidate(s).
The establishment of the endowed scholarship program has and will continue to provide a permanent source of funding to supplement other fundraising activities and enable the Fund to expand its support of financially needy scholarship candidates.
During the American Seniors Golf Association farewell dinner at the 2019 ASGA Summer Championship, Executive Director Kevin Patterson announced that the WGACSF would be the 2019 recipient of the Association’s Charitable Trust contribution.
The contribution from the ASGA Charitable Trust was intended to be the foundation of what would be an endowed scholarship in Joe Germano’s name, in recognition of his many, many years of service to the game of golf, especially during his 22 year membership of the ASGA.
“We could not think of a more deserving person to have his name attached to this endowed scholarship,” said Ken Auerbach, who serves as chairman of the ASGA Charitable Trust. “We are so fortunate to have such a supportive Board and membership, and we hope that this latest gift will set the stage for even more growth of our Charitable Trust.”
Over the following days several members of the ASGA, Joe’s friends and fellow Veterans all sent individual donations to his scholarship fund, quickly reaching the endowment minimum and then exceeding.
“The American Seniors Golf Association initiated an outpouring of support from its membership, Joe’s friends and several other associations of which Joe is a member,” said Johanna Gavin, CSFs Senior Director. “Joe is a special man. For all of us who are fortunate to know him, he has made a positive impact on our lives. The WGACSF is honored to administer this special scholarship in his name and select a special, deserving recipient.”
Joe Germano, a 94-year old native of Mamaroneck, plays more rounds of golf a year than he is old. He has been a member of Bonnie Briar Country Club since the 1960s, where he currently maintains a 16 handicap. When not in Larchmont, Joe can be found playing around the Westchester and Metropolitan area—even internationally—with his six other golf associations. Joe is a member of the Westchester Seniors Golf Association, the World Senior Golf Federation, the Eastern Seniors Golf Association, the International Seniors Amateur Golf Society, the U.S.G.F. of Rotarians, Los Coyotes Invitational.
Fittingly, his love for the game all started in the caddie yard, right down the road, at Winged Foot Golf Club.
At only nine years old, on a normal morning riding bicycles around the neighborhood, Joe and a friend were asked by a passing bus driver if they were interested in trading their bikes for golf bags. Without hesitation, the adolescents welcomed the invitation and were dropped off at gates of the world class golf course to start an 8-year “career” as a caddie, and, unbeknownst to Joe, the start of the rest of his life.
Joe made a name for himself at Winged Foot Golf Club, befriending many members, staff, and the head golf professional at the time, Craig Wood. Joe recounts the first conversation he had with the pro and exactly how he worked smart to impress careered adults.
Just shy of his 18th birthday, in 1943, Joe enlisted with the U.S. Marine Corps. He spent time at Parris Island and Camp Lejeune before deploying as a radio operator with the 24th Communication Marines in the invasions of Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and the Philippine Islands.
After completing 15 months of sea duty, Joe was honorably discharged as a Corporal at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. When opportune, Joe returned to Mamaroneck to visit family. During one visit home, Joe had the opportunity to begin the next chapter in his life—a serendipitous opportunity, much like his entrée into the caddie yard.
That next chapter was opening Mamaroneck Garage and beginning a family. Through Joe’s earlier networking on the golf course, Joe’s shop serviced many a vehicle for members and superintendent equipment. As Joe’s business grew, so did his family. He and his bride, Luisa (who became an avid golfer), became proud parents of four girls. Today, this family tree has expanded exponentially, but the apples never falling too far from the tree, as a Germano man played collegiate golf, and, others, enlisting in the armed forces.