East Palestine Golf Fundraiser to Benefit Youth Sports, Education

EAST PALESTINE, Ohio – The bulk of the $400,000 raised at a celebrity golf outing to help those affected by the East Palestine train derailment will go to youth sports, performing arts groups and STEM education.

Golf icon Annika Sorenstam, along with her husband, Mike McGee, and Ed Muransky of The Muransky Companies, presented Annika Fore East Palestine at the Lake Club in Poland in May.

The event came together when McGee, a native of East Palestine and son of the late PGA Tour champion Jerry McGee, felt compelled to help his hometown after learning of the February derailment. He reached out to Muransky, and the three devised a plan and set it in motion.

“Annika and our family are thrilled to see the money we helped raise go to such great causes in the East Palestine community, especially the youth initiatives,” McGee said. “Hopefully, this can lift the morale a little.”

In less than 50 days, Muransky helped pull together a golf outing with key partners and sponsors.

“I am so proud to be a small part of such a wonderful day showcasing our Valley,”  Muransky said. “The volunteers, celebrities, golfers and everyone involved all prove we live in a great place.”

In partnership with The Way Station and the United Way of Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley, Sorenstam and McGee determined the distribution of funding. Their priority became youth sports in the East Palestine community.

The first round of funding will be distributed as follows:

  • Little Bulldogs football and cheerleading, $20,000.
  • Youth girls softball, $20,000.
  • Youth golf program, $25,000.
  • Rotary soccer, $10,000.
  • East Palestine Youth Sports Association, $20,000.
  • Fellowship of Christian Athletes, $10,000.
  • High school athletics, $50,000.
  • East Palestine teachers union, $25,000.
  • Fine and performing arts, $15,000.
  • Robotics and STEM, $20,000.
  • Bulldog Bucks for businesses, $25,000.
  • Camp Hope for first responders, $35,000.

The remaining funds will go to The Way Station in East Palestine and be put in a fund for future initiatives.

Chaney Nezbeth, executive director of The Way Station, said the organization is preparing for the long-term effects that will arise.

Pictured at top: Annika Sorenstam and her husband, Mike McGee, along with their children, William and Ava.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.