Elks offer bus trip, inspired by high school memories

Paul Ungerland loves golf.

In high school, he played for the Elmira team against his friends who lived in Horseheads — two in particular, Joey Sindelar and Mike Hulbert.

“They always beat me,” said Ungerland with a laugh. “I always said I was a distant third.”

His friends went on to careers in the sport.

Ungerland, at 61, is still playing golf and still following his friends’ careers.

Ungerland also loves the Elks, a fraternal organization he joined 31 years ago. “We had a lot of golfers at the time,” he said. “But they’ve all gotten old.

“I decided to run a bus trip so people would follow my friends … We drop you off and pick you up. You can go anywhere you want,” said Ungerland.

This year, Ungerland is organizing a trip for the Rotterdam Elks — “anyone can join us,” he stresses — for the Travelers Championship PGA golf tournament on Sunday, June 23.

“Bubba Watson will not only will defend his title win from last year but will be looking for his fourth career win at River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut,” Ungerland wrote in an announcement for the trip. “Last year, Bubba expressed his affection for the tournament with a $200,000 donation to the major charity, the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. The overall amount of money raised from this one tournament in 2018 was $2 million.”

The not-for-profit camp serves children and their families who are coping with cancer and other serious illnesses.

The Wade bus will leave at 8 a.m. from the Rotterdam Elks Lodge and will stop along the way at the Springfield Elks Lodge for breakfast and at the Hartford Elks Lodge for dinner.

“Once at the tournament, enjoy great food, beverages, and fun activities alongside the golf,” writes Ungerland. The tournament welcomes children ages 15 and under for free with a ticketed adult.

Complimentary admission is also offered to active military members, reserve and retired military members, and military veterans — and these guests are invited to visit the Patriots’ Outpost Hospitality Tent for free food and beverage. A computer link must be filled out for military guests.

The trip costs $115 for people not in the military, and costs $85 for veterans or those in the military, and $80 for youth 15 or younger.

All proceeds from the bus trip will go to help people with cerebral palsy at the Center for Disability, which is the New York State Elks’ major project, Ungerland stated.

Those who want to go on the trip can call Ungerland at 518-384-0221 to reserve a seat with payment. The deadline is May 23. “Tickets will go fast,” he said.

“Early commitments to this year’s Travelers Championship already include five players currently ranked in the top 15 in the world: Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Francesco Molinari, and Tony Finau,” he said, adding, “Please email me with your intentions at . I’ll send you a form to fill out with payment for your spot on the bus. There is limited seating.”

Ungerland concluded by reporting that last year’s bus trip raised almost $2,100. He noted, “A large amount of money is donated by the Albany Capital District Elks Lodges at the Center for Disability Telethon.”

 

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