08 Apr 19
The seven nominees for the 2018 Toby Sunderland Award have been announced.
The award recognises an outstanding charitable act or contribution by a PGA Professional. There are seven awards, one for each region, and the overall winner receives £500 towards their chosen charity.
Warren Sunderland (Toby Sunderland’s son) and Robert Maxfield will choose a winner which will be announced at this year’s Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Donal McSweeney (Ireland) has been nominated for his efforts in raising money to fund a special machine to help fellow PGA Member Ian St.John walk again.
More than €10,000 has been raised and donated to Ian St John and his family. St.John was a PGA trainee under McSweeney but in 2016 he took ill with a deliberating illness that left him paralysed and unable to walk.
McSweeney became aware of a machine that could help his friend walk again and pursued in a fundraising campaign to support his close friend in a bid to help him walk again.
“It’s an honour and privilege to be nominated,” said McSweeney. “It all started over a telephone conversation with Ian last August and then John Caulfield (Taylormade Rep) and I structured the fundraising. We asked 40 PGA Professionals to help out and they did.
“Ireland is small country and pros tend to help each other out so when Ian fell on hard times it was one of those things that seemed the right thing to do. I just put a structure on it and we had up to 40 Pros who gave their time and effort to raise some money.
“I would be very humbled and surprised if I was to receive the award. It would be great to raise awareness and who knows what doors it might open to help Ian or others.”