Providing a solid foundation
Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation OFFERING much need support to a next generation
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/07/2022 (259 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Throughout their life together, there were few things more important to Alex and Peggy Colonello than the sport of golf.
On any given weekend you could usually find them on the links or organizing events at Elmhurst Golf & Country Club, where they were members from 1948 until their passing. They also mentored many of the province’s top juniors over the years and spent countless hours giving back to the sport as volunteers. In fact, Peggy was inducted into both the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame for her efforts on the provincial golf scene.
Although Alex (2003) and Peggy (2020) are both gone, their dedication to advancing the sport lives on. The Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation was created in 2018 to support junior golf programming in the province. The foundation has committed $3 million to an endowment fund administered by Golf Manitoba that will support the next generation of golfers through grassroots initiatives and high-performance training.
The idea for the foundation, not surprisingly, came from Peggy herself. A few years ago she learned that many of the top young golfers in the province were skipping inter-provincial competitions because they couldn’t afford to travel to take part.
“I remember talking to Peggy about it and she said, ‘Why don’t they go?’,” says foundation president Marg Homenuik, who was a close friend of the Colonellos. “I said because they couldn’t afford it. She said, ‘Well, we’ll have to correct that’.”
As part of its mandate to make golf more accessible for young people, the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation provides funding to female and male golfers who have earned the right to represent Manitoba in national competitions to help offset their travel and equipment costs. It also provides financial assistance to the Golf in Schools introductory program, the University of Manitoba men’s and women’s golf programs, and the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame. In addition, golf courses throughout the province can apply to the foundation for financial support to stage junior training clinics.
To date, the foundation has provided financial support to thousands of young golfers throughout the province, which is exactly what Peggy had in mind when she conceived of it, Homenuik says. She remained actively involved in the foundation until shortly before her death last April.
“She was just thrilled with it,” Homenuik says of Peggy’s feelings about the foundation’s work.
“She dealt with a lot of the juniors over the years…and knew some of them struggled to pay to go anywhere. She was so happy to do this for the kids. She was absolutely thrilled it was helping people.”
Homenuik first got to know the Colonellos when she moved to Winnipeg as a teenager. She lived with them for a brief time and would often golf in mother-and-daughter tournaments with Peggy before going on to become one of the most successful amateur women’s golfers in Manitoba’s history.
She says what she remembers most about Peggy was her boundless energy and her steadfast commitment to golf. She travelled the globe on behalf of the sport as a team manager, diplomat, captain and referee and served stints as chair of the Manitoba Ladies Golf Association (1975-76) and president of the Canadian Ladies Golf Association (1982-83).
“She just really liked to do that stuff. She was totally committed. She was unbelievably detailed about things,” recalls Homeniuk, who like her mentor is also a member of the Manitoba Golf Hall of Fame and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
“She was just so good for the sport of golf. It was her life.”
For more information on the Alex & Peggy Colonello Foundation visit golfmb.ca.