May 26, 2022

The Return of UVS-Swing Club and Thank You to Julie Gonzalez

One of Northern California’s greatest golf programs is back after a two-year absence due to COVID-19.

On May 25, the United Veterans Services (formerly the United Volunteer Services) Swing Club held its first event since the pandemic outbreak.

The UVS Swing Club was orginally founded by NCGA Hall of Famer Helen Lengfeld after World War II as a golf rehabilitation program for returning veterans. Since then, the members and member clubs of the Pacific Women's Golf Association (PWGA)--with support from the NCGA--have continued to support the program through the Menlo Park VA with donations and volunteers.

As for how it all works, the UVS Swing Club brings veterans from the Palo Alto/Menlo Park VA to play golf as part of their rehabilitation therapy.  Veterans play either a 9-hole round on the shortened course or participate in a putting contest.  Each veteran is paired with a volunteer golfer who plays the round with them.  After golf there is an opportunity to come together for lunch and to socialize.

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Julie Gonzalez (a retired USAR Master Sergeant herself) has been the program Liaison since 2014.  As part of its return, the program honored Gonzalez (pictured, middle above with Leslie Buchman and Jane Sullwood) as she retired from the post.  During her years at the helm, Gonzalez has hosted approximately 36 events, over 1500 Veterans and almost as many volunteers.  The program requires dedication, a great attitude, a steadfast work ethic and a good sense of humor, all of which Gonzalez has in spades. 

She works with the VA and the Golf Course to coordinate each event, marks the course, creates the scorecards, communicates with volunteers, manages supplies, manages volunteers and most of all she is the friendly face meeting and greeting each golfer on the day and ensuring that the event is an enjoyable experience for all. 

A presentation was made to Gonzalez at the May 25 event by Jane Sullwold, PWGA Sub Committee Chair, with comments from Frank Scheifler, the UVS representative for Palo Alto.  The Veterans and the volunteers are all so grateful to Gonzalez for her outstanding commitment to both the program and the veterans who have benefited from their golf experience. 

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While we bid a fond farewell to Gonzalez, the program will continue. We are happy to announce that long time NCGA volunteer Tom Yuschak has stepped forward to help coordinate the program and has begun training to step into Julie's shoes. 

If you are interested in volunteering for this program, please visit the website and sign up for one of our next events at Moffett Field GC - June 29, July 27 and August 31.

If you would like to donate to the program, make checks payable to UVS- Swing Club and mail to: Frank Scheifler - United Veterans Services, 827 Nisqually Dr., Sunnyvale, CA 94087

To read more about Gonzalez’ tenure as UVS Swing Club liaison, please click here