October is a time full of meaning; it serves as Breast Cancer Awareness month, Domestic Violence Awareness month and National Bullying Prevention month. A big month for many, several LPGA players will take center stage as advocates and representatives for each cause in the spotlight.
Breast Cancer Awareness
In 2009, Angela Stanford’s mother, Nan, was diagnosed with lobular breast cancer. Just a few years later, in 2012, the seven-time LPGA Tour winner started the Angela Stanford Foundation to support children and families affected by cancer. The non-profit provides scholarships to kids in Texas whose families have been affected by cancer, and so far, the foundation has disbursed $418,000 in scholarships.
The foundation holds an annual charity golf tournament to fundraise but also relies on donations throughout the year. By visiting their website, you can join the “Birdie Bonanza”, a pledge-based donation that relies on the number of birdies Stanford makes throughout the LPGA Tour’s season. This year, she’s up to 114.
Stanford also uses its platform to benefit other charities. Just a few months before Nan lost her 13-year battle with breast cancer on March 9th of 2022, Stanford announced a partnership with the Lobular Breast Cancer Alliance (LBCA) and recorded PSAs for the organization.
Morgan Pressel also lost her mother, Kathryn Krickstein Pressel, to breast cancer. Kathryn passed away on September 4, 2003, the day Pressel was supposed to leave for the Junior Solheim Cup. When Pressel turned pro in 2006, she knew she wanted to use her newfound fame as a professional golfer to honor her mother. Two years later, the first Morgan & Friends Fight Cancer charity golf tournament at St. Andrews Country Club was held and the Morgan Pressel Foundation began its crusade.
To date, Pressel’s foundation has raised over $10.5 million to support patient care and breast cancer research. One of Pressel’s biggest projects has been the Kathryn Krickstein Pressel Mammovan, a mobile mammography unit that travels around south Florida, providing women easy access to state-of-the-art technology.
Domestic Violence Awareness
In 2014, a year after earning his LPGA Tour card, Austin Ernst began hosting a charity pro-am golf tournament to benefit Safe Harbor, an organization based in upstate South Carolina that provides a variety of resources to victims of domestic violence.
When Ernst started the event, upstate South Carolina was known for its high rate of domestic abuse victims. A 2015 study done by the Violence Policy Center found that South Carolina ranked fifth in the homicide rate among female victims murdered by males.
Ernst grew up in Seneca, just an hour west of Greenville, right in the center of upstate South Carolina. As she learned more about the issue, Ernst decided to use her platform as a professional athlete to raise awareness about the issue. She decided to host a charity pro-am which has collectively raised over $500,000 in the event’s six iterations.
For those unable to participate in the pro-am but who still want to support Safe Harbor, Ernst sells and auctions some of his own memorabilia (signed hats, balls, gloves, bags and shoes) through his website, with all the proceeds going directly to the charity.
National Bullying Prevention
Haley Moore was bullied for most of her childhood and struggled with her self-esteem. Golf became Moore’s escape, and she was quickly able to turn her sanctuary into a career. In 2019, she finished in a tie for 11th at LPGA Q-Series to earn a spot on the LPGA Tour.
With her LPGA card came public recognition and prominence. Moore couldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out about her own experiences and take a stand against bullying. In August of 2020, Moore shared her Drive On story and started the Haley Moore Foundation.
Moore’s focus is on using her platform to prevent bullying and being a source of inspiration for young golfers that might relate to her struggles. One of her foundation’s outreach programs, “Haley’s Heroes”, turns the spotlight on individuals that live up to Moore’s motto: “Dream, believe and achieve.” The first of Haley’s Heroes is Autumn Marie Solesbee, who has also been featured by LPGA in her own Drive On campaign.
In 2022, Haley’s Heroes provided funding support and golf development resources to two junior Toyota Tour Cup members of the Southern California PGA Foundation that showed financial need and – just like Moore – had overcome significant challenges in their golf journey.