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Birds of a Feather Drive Together: Naz & Fisher mascots tee-off for a good cause at Oak Hill Country Club

Published May 09, 2023

As Oak Hill Country Club prepares to welcome the world’s top pro golfers to Rochester for the PGA Championship, two fine-feathered amateurs got a bird’s-eye view of the course on Tuesday, May 9, as they drove the fairway of Oak Hill’s West Course to raise awareness and money for PGA Reach, PGA’s signature charitable foundation – which is committed to growing access to the game of golf for underrepresented and underserved communities, including veterans, youth, and diverse populations.

Traditionally “battling beaks” as sports rivals, Nazareth’s Swoop the Golden Flyer and St. John Fisher University’s mascot Cardinal instead teamed up for the “Birds of a Feather Drive Together” event just days before the PGA Championship brings thousands of golf spectators to Oak Hill.

St. John Fisher University and Nazareth are both located adjacent to the prestigious Oak Hill Country Club on opposite ends of East Avenue, and their mascots hit six drives each today on Hole #10 on Oak Hill’s West Course.

Alumni and supporters of both Nazareth and St. John Fisher University, as well as members of the general public, were encouraged to donate $22.50 based on the big-hitting birds’ cumulative performance off the tee, which totalled 2,250 yards. The PGA Reach GoFundMe page is now closed.

“What a way to extend an early welcome to the PGA Championship here in Rochester” said Victoria Schiro, executive director of Western New York PGA. “Nazareth and Fisher, and their talented mascots had a great time here on the golf course, but their spirit of coming together to honor and raise money for PGA Reach WNY is the true measure of success.” 

The Golden Flyer and the Cardinal certainly had a lot of fun and mischief as they drove the fairway and received some friendly advice and help from their respective presidents, St. John Fisher University President Gerard Rooney and Nazareth President Beth Paul.

“We are proud to join Oak Hill Country Club in welcoming the PGA Championship to the Rochester region,” said Gerard J. Rooney, president of St. John Fisher University. “Today’s friendly mascot competition allowed us to further be a part of the Championship by raising awareness and funds for a very worthy cause. We look forward to hosting PGA players and staff and serving as a sponsor for this historic event.”

“Swoop and Cardinal certainly brought their top flight games to Oak Hill today. I’m so glad they set aside their “battle of the beaks” rivalry and came together to get our two campuses, Nazareth and Fisher, along with all of Rochester, donating to PGA Reach WNY,” said Nazareth President Paul. “PGA Reach’s efforts to enhance access and participation by all in the wonderful game of golf aligns perfectly with Nazareth’s belief in belonging for all, where all community members are acknowledged, included and valued.”

PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections, and the game of golf. 

For More Information

Julie Long | Senior News & PR Officer | | (585) 389-2456 | (585) 781-8186 (cell)

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.

Cardinal and Swoop team up at Oak Hill Country Club to raise money for PGA Reach.