The 25th Annual Matthew J. Murphy, Jr. Memorial golf tournament took place on Monday, June 19 at the Niagara Frontier Country Club in Youngstown.  94 golfers, twice as many as last year,  enjoyed mild temperatures and friendly competition with colleagues while supporting a great cause.

The event culminated in a dinner and auction attended by 135 guests, again almost double last year’s attendance.  In honor of Neil and Mary Gruppo’s longtime service to Empower and the golf tournament, the Chairman’s Award was renamed the Neil and Mary Gruppo Service Award.  Neil’s family and friends were on hand for the celebration and gave Neil a standing ovation.

The 2017 Neil and Mary Gruppo Service Award was presented to Fran and Gary Hall for their humble philanthropy to Empower and the Niagara region.

In total, over $19,000 was raised in support of Empower’s Job Training and Day Program division.  This money will fund programs that provide job skills’ training and placement to people with disabilities.

We would like to thank everyone who participated, especially the following sponsors:

Gold Level ($2,500): KeyBank

Silver ($1,500): Integrity Auto Service and Schlaak Enterprises Property Management

Bronze: ($1,000): Crown Benefits Group, Inc. and Bond, Schoeneck & King Attorneys


In the second week of July, CEO Jeff Paterson and Director of Communication & Development Elizabeth Cardamone met with golf tournament sponsors one-on-one to express appreciation for their support and gain feedback on the event.  This is part of an effort to build relationships with funders beyond their donation and obtain perspective on needed improvements and/or strengths that should be continued.