A Community Hole-in-One

April 1, 2021

FirstEnergy played a key role in a recent community milestone that was 36 years in the making. With proceeds from the 2020 Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship, more than $30 million has been given to area charities through professional golf tournaments held at Akron’s Firestone Country Club since 1984. The total includes $772,000 distributed in the last year alone to local nonprofits making a difference on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the years, the FirstEnergy Foundation and our employees have been steady supporters of golf tournaments held at Firestone – including the Ambassador of Golf event presented by the Foundation.

“We’re proud of our participation in keeping this legacy of giving alive,” said Lorna Wisham, vice president, Corporate Affairs and Community Improvement and president, FirstEnergy Foundation. “We support these events because they directly benefit the community by providing help to those who need it most. This is especially significant given the challenges nonprofits are facing during the pandemic.”

Held at Firestone during the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS tournament week, the Ambassador of Golf event is a premier dinner and awards ceremony with proceeds benefiting northeast Ohio charities.

“During the event, the Ambassador of Golf Award is presented to a person who fosters the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course,” said Lisa Swan, consultant, Corporate Engagement and 2021 Ambassador of Golf chair. “Previous recipients have been golf legends like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Fred Couples. The dinner event, scheduled for Thursday, June 24, is sold out and the theme ‘From the Fairways to the Front Lines’ will honor those who are serving on the front lines of health and human care.”

Key charities benefitting from the event include: Akron Children’s Hospital, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, Summa Health System, Cleveland Clinic Akron General, First Tee (Akron, Cleveland and Canton), United Way Summit & Medina Counties, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank and LeBron James Family Foundation.

Fred Couples (r.) receives the 2019 Ambassador of Golf Award from Vince Cellini, Golf Channel Anchor.​


A PARtnership for the Course!

The $30-million milestone in charity giving was reached through a partnership with the PGA TOUR Champions, Firestone Country Club and Northern Ohio Golf Charities, and it was made possible by event supporters like FirstEnergy – as well as tournament volunteers and fans of northeast Ohio.

Northern Ohio Golf Charities is the volunteer organization that helps operate the Bridgestone SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. It was officially incorporated in 1984 to formalize the charitable giving, but the Firestone Country Club has been hosting the professional golf tournaments since 1954.​