By Marty Gordon
The Radford High School golf program has received a Christmas gift, which will help grow the sport throughout the community even introducing it to a young age group. The estate of a Blacksburg family turned over a check this past week in the amount of $121,679.
The money is thanks to the Estate of Ralph W. Petron in honor of his mother Juanita W. Petrone. Initially, the golf program received $55,000, but this week the second amount was given to the school.
Dr. Robert Graham, superintendent of schools for Radford, said the Petrone family has a passion for helping to grow the game of golf in the Radford City School Community, especially for student-athletes who may not be able to afford the traditional golf experience (ie, membership to a country club, private golf lessons or 21st Centruy golf equipment).
This is what Ralph W. Petrone envisioned to honor his mother, Juanita. She played golf for years both locally and throughout the east coast enjoying the game of golf and graciously helped kids who wanted to learn the game whenever she got the chance.
Graham said this generous donation/grant will help us add another golf simulator, a practice putting green simulator and potentially a curriculum and golf equipment to use for a golfing unit at John Dalton Intermediate and Belle Heth Elementary physical education classes.
“We also think we will have enough money to provide some opportunities for our students to join Operation 36, which is a junior golf program that focuses on growing the game of golf for young students interested in learning how to play,” he said.
The school hopes they will be able to provide opportunities for students at the elementary and middle school to learn about golf at a younger age and better prepare them to compete at a very high level if they choose to compete on the RHS golf team.
“More importantly, we hope to introduce the game of golf at a young age so that it can be a life long sport for those who choose to play it. There are many valuable lessons in golf that can last a lifetime,” Graham said.