Michigan Women's Golf Association (MWGA) Announces 2017 HOF Inductees
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Michigan Women’s Golf Association (MWGA) Announces
2017 Inductees to the MWGA Hall of Fame
May 26, 2017, Farmington, Mich. Eight women and one man will comprise the group to be inducted into the MWGA Hall of Fame during a 6pm dinner celebration on Saturday, July 15th following the first round of the MWGA State Championship at Eagle Crest Golf Club in Ypsilanti. These individuals have made significant local, national and international contributions to golf in multiple areas including tournament play, media, organizational, advocacy and volunteerism.
Rightly so, in 2016, Sara Wold was the first person inducted into the MWGA Hall of Fame as she has been a tireless promoter of women’s golf and has served in many capacities for the MWGA (a founding member), USGA and GAM.
The nine honorees are Jack Berry, Mary Cunningham, Joan Garety, Janina Parrott Jacobs, Cynthia Pinkard, Betty Richart, Pat Shelton, Nancy Serra and Shirley Spork. Full bios, criteria and Hall of Fame accomplishments can be viewed at www.mwgahof.org. The public is invited to attend the induction. To make a reservation and register online, visit www.mwgolf.org.
Here are some inductee highlights:
Jack Berry is a long-time golf writer. He was at United Press International 1956-59, the Detroit Free Press 1959-71 and The Detroit News from 1971 to 1993. He still freelances for several publications, including Michigan Golfer News, and is active with the Golf Writers Association of America where he served on the Board and as President. A champion for women’s golf, Berry was instrumental in lifting the ban of female reporters in the Masters’ locker room and opened the formerly ‘closed’ Michigan Women’s Amateur Championship to public players in the 90’s. Berry was inducted into the MGHOF in 2003 and is a member of the PGA HOF for Lifetime Achievement.
Mary Cunningham is an avid golfer and has been involved in women’s golf organizations for most of her life. At age 92, she still plays 9-hole rounds. A founder of the MWGA in 1986, Cunningham served as the organization’s first President, from 1986-1992. Her enthusiasm for golf is infectious and has drawn many women into the game due to her active and welcoming role in leagues and committees for over 30 years.
Joan Garety, two-time Michigan Women’s Amateur Champion and MGHOF member, has been a top player in the state for decades. An MSU grad, and Varsity golf team member Garety continues to add senior championship titles to her career. A Rolex Achievement award winner and veteran of 30 USGA championships, Garety retired as VP of Finance and treasurer of Meijer’s in Grand Rapids.
Janina Parrott Jacobs is an accomplished golfer with two state amateur Runner-Up finishes, and qualified for 23 USGA national championships; she founded the EWGA Metro Detroit Chapter in 1993, and serves on the boards of various business, civic and golf organizations, including Advisor to MWGA and President of the local Navy League Council. She was the first woman to play on both a men’s high school (Pershing, Detroit) and college team (WSU) in Michigan following passage of Title IX and was inducted into the WSU Athletic Hall of Fame in 2000. She was the first female 100 Greatest Courses panelist for Golf Digest, a GAM Governor and MGHOF Committee member. An international golf and travel writer-editor and media consultant, she is also a professional musician and has owned Capers Steakhouse in Detroit since 1982.
Cynthia Pinkard has been an MWGA member or Advisor for 22 years and is the Technology Director and Webmaster, certainly a key player in the operations and administration of all MWGA competitions. A Governor of GAM since 2001, now Honorary, she has captained the Atlas Cup (Ryder Cup style format team competition) Public Team since 2006. She has also been a rules official at MWGA and GAM Championships and USGA qualifiers.
Betty Richart is probably the Grande Dame of Michigan golf and has received Legacy and Lifetime Achievement awards from GAM, the USGA and MWGA. She grew up in New Jersey and played on the Boys High School Team from 1938-1941, graduating to competition in several U.S. Women’s Opens along with Patty Berg, Babe Zaharias and Louise Suggs. She has won regional, city and club championships in 6 states. Mrs. Richart served 17 years on the USGA Women’s Committee, chaired the US Women’s Open at Indianwood G &CC, and hosted the U.S. Women’s Amateur and Mid-Amateur Championships at her club Barton Hills in Ann Arbor. She received the GAM Distinguished Service Award and was inducted into the MGHOF in 2002 and continues to serve as mentor and advisor to most women’s golf leaders in Michigan.
Pat Shelton is an avid golfer who has served for 22 years on the MWGA Board, investing an extraordinary amount of time, effort and talent in many areas. Editor of the MWGA’s stylish publication, NEWSLINX, for 20 years, she currently serves as Publicity and Promotions Director and has also served on special Women’s Golf Summit and Anniversary Celebration committees. Shelton is a talented published writer, graphics designer and proofreader and is often responsible for crafting programs, flyers and other publicity for women’s golf events. Shelton is also the Downtown Development Authority Press Corps Chair for the city of Farmington.
Nancy Serra has been a member of the MWGA Board for 23 years, serving as President for 4 years. Currently Vice President, her roles have been many, including work as Course Coordinator and Tournament Committee. Serra has served as a Rules Official at national championships and as a member of the USGA Women’s Amateur Public Links Committee for 8 years. She recently served on the Michigan Golf Foundation Board as a member of the MGHOF Committee.
Shirley Spork’s golf career began as a public links player who attended EMU. She won the Michigan Women’s Amateur in 1949, then went on to become one of 13 founding members of the LPGA in 1950 and its Teaching and Club Professional Division. At age 90, Ms. Spork continues to teach and promote women’s golf. In 2015, she received the LPGA Patty Berg award, was honored during the MWGA’s Legacy celebration in 2014 and the 100th Michigan Women’s Amateur Centennial Celebration in 2016.