Birds of a Feather Drive Together: Fisher, Nazareth Mascots Tee-Off for a Good Cause

May 9, 2023

As Oak Hill Country Club prepares to welcome the world’s top pro golfers to Rochester for the PGA Championship, two fine-feathered amateurs got a bird’s-eye view of the course today, Tuesday, May 9, as they drove the first fairway of Oak Hill’s West Course to raise awareness and money for PGA Reach, PGA’s signature charitable foundation – which is committed to growing access to the game of golf for underrepresented and underserved communities, including veterans, youth, and diverse populations.

President Rooney, Cardinal, Swoop the Golden Flyer, and President Paul

Traditionally “battling beaks” as sports rivals, Fisher's Cardinal and Nazareth’s Swoop the Golden Flyer instead teamed up for the “Birds of a Feather Drive Together” event just days before the PGA Championship brings thousands of golf spectators to Oak Hill.

Fisher and Nazareth are both located adjacent to the prestigious Oak Hill Country Club on opposite ends of East Avenue, and their mascots hit six drives each today on Hole #10 on Oak Hill’s West Course. Alumni and supporters of both Nazareth and St. John Fisher University, as well as members of the general public, are now encouraged to donate $22.50 based on the big-hitting birds’ cumulative performance off the tee, which totalled 2,250 yards. Both Swoop and Cardinal challenge people to double any donation to $45. Smaller or larger donations are, of course, accepted as well. Make donations to the PGA Reach WNY’s Bird of a Feather Drive Together GoFundMe

“What a way to extend an early welcome to the PGA Championship here in Rochester” said Victoria Schiro, executive director of Western New York PGA. “Nazareth and Fisher, and their talented mascots had a great time here on the golf course, but their spirit of coming together to honor and raise money for PGA Reach WNY is the true measure of success.” 

The Golden Flyer and the Cardinal certainly had a lot of fun and mischief as they drove the fairway and received some friendly advice and help from their respective presidents, St. John Fisher University President Gerard Rooney and Nazareth President Beth Paul.

“We are proud to join Oak Hill Country Club in welcoming the PGA Championship to the Rochester region,” said Rooney. “Today’s friendly mascot competition allowed us to further be a part of the Championship by raising awareness and funds for a very worthy cause. We look forward to hosting PGA players and staff and serving as a sponsor for this historic event.”

“Swoop and Cardinal certainly brought their top flight games to Oak Hill today. I’m so glad they set aside their “battle of the beaks” rivalry and came together to get our two campuses, Nazareth and Fisher, along with all of Rochester, donating to PGA Reach WNY,” said Paul. “PGA Reach’s efforts to enhance access and participation by all in the wonderful game of golf aligns perfectly with Nazareth’s belief in belonging for all, where all community members are acknowledged, included and valued.”

PGA REACH is the 501(c)(3) charitable foundation of the PGA of America. The mission of PGA REACH is to positively impact the lives of youth, military, and diverse populations by enabling access to PGA Professionals, PGA Sections, and the game of golf.