Scranton, PA — The third annual NEPA Invitational, hosted by PGA Tour player Brandon Matthews, was held at the Country Club of Scranton on September 22-24. This charity pro-am golf event attracted current and former PGA Tour pros, amateurs, and supporters, all united by a shared mission to raise funds for the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Jack Nicklaus’ Play Yellow Campaign benefitting the Children’s Miracle Network.
Signature partners for the event included Equitrans Midstream, Diaz Companies, and Rutter’s.
The festivities began Friday evening for Dinner with the Pros, graced by the presence of pediatric patient ambassadors from the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital and Geisinger Health Foundation. It was a heartwarming occasion, setting the tone for a weekend filled with camaraderie and compassion. One of the highlights of the evening was the live auction, where guests had the opportunity to bid on exclusive items, with all proceeds benefiting the hospital.
At the end of the event, the NEPA Invitational proudly announced a remarkable donation of $200,000 to the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, raised through sponsors, tournament participants, live auction, and donations.
“We rely on community partners to help us respond to the evolving needs of families across the region, and we’re grateful to Brandon Matthews and all the leadership and supporters of the NEPA Invitational,” stated Frank Maffei, MD, Geisinger Chair of Pediatrics. “This support helps Geisinger Pediatrics and the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital to deliver family-centered pediatric care that is driven by best practice, innovation and compassion.”
To date, the NEPA Invitational Fund at the Scranton Area Community Foundation has provided over $365,000 to support a variety of charities including the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Children’s Advocacy Center of NEPA, Meals on Wheels of NEPA, Inc., Outreach, and United Way of Lackawanna and Wayne Counties, in addition to Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital. Additionally, the NEPA Invitational and Matthews have worked closely with the Scranton Area Community Foundation to establish the William Lawler Scholarship, awarded to an NEPA area junior golf who is going on to play collegiate golf.
In addition, this year’s NEPA Invitational proudly supported the “Play Yellow” program, a noble initiative of the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, founded by the legendary Jack and Barbara Nicklaus.
“Expanding this event and witnessing its impact on the children of Janet Weis Children’s Hospital has been an incredible privilege. We’re incredibly grateful for the opportunity to make a difference,” said Matthews. “On behalf of the entire NEPA Invitational board, my wife and I, and the Country Club of Scranton, we extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has contributed to the growth and success of this event year after year. Looking ahead, we’re excited to further expand our contributions, nurture the growth of this event, and continue to showcase the remarkable spirit of Northeastern Pennsylvania as a community. Together, we’ll make a lasting impact and ensure that this region remains a beacon of hope and support!”
Following the NEPA Invitational, on Sunday, October 15th, Matthews was honored by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at the signature Play Yellow Invitational where he was named the 2023 Play Yellow Ambassador of the Year.
In 2022 and 2023 the primary beneficiary of the NEPA Invitational has been the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, which is a member of the Children’s Miracle Network group of hospitals. In the last two years, $300,000 has been donated to the local pediatric hospital by the NEPA Invitational. Play Yellow is Jack and Barbara Nicklaus’ personal campaign to raise a total of $100,000,000 for Children’s Miracle Network.
The NEPA Invitational attracted a stellar lineup of golfing talent, with current and former PGA Tour pros including Brandon Matthews, Ben Griffin, Tano Goya, Eric Barnes, Ted Tryba, Fran Quinn, Andrew Novak, Brad Adamonis, and Rick Lamb. Their participation not only showcased their exceptional skills but also their dedication to the cause.
While the relentless Tropical Storm Ophelia brought torrential downpours and unrelenting winds to the region, the pros and supporting amateurs persevered for the two day tournament at Country Club of Scranton. Their determination mirrored the spirit of the event itself—undeterred by adversity, resolute in their mission to support the Janet Weis Children’s Hospital.
Congratulations to Andrew Novak for winning the Low professional honors and Michael Miller and Michael Vassil for winning the Pro-Am Format.
“The Scranton Area Community Foundation is honored that Brandon and the NEPA Invitational have partnered with us to carry out the charitable goals of this event,” stated Laura Ducceschi, President and CEO of the Scranton Area Community Foundation. “His desire to give back is truly making a difference right here in our communities.”
Matthews was born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania. A Pittston Area graduate, he established the NEPA Invitational Fund with a desire to give back to the community he grew up in. He partnered with the Scranton Area Community Foundation to help allocate the funds raised to local organizations in need.
For more information about the NEPA Invitational, its charitable endeavors, and to be involved with the event in 2024, please contact Drew Carr of Fidelity Sports Group at (302) 344-2527 or email@example.com.
About Brandon Matthews
Brandon Matthews, professional golfer on the PGA Tour was born and raised in Northeast Pennsylvania. Throughout his career, he has always held the area of Northeastern Pennsylvania close to his heart and has always had the desire to give back to the area as much as possible. The area has shaped him throughout his life and has made him who he is today, to which he is incredibly grateful. The NEPA Invitational was created as the first step in Brandon’s philanthropic efforts and goals. For more information on Brandon Matthews or be in touch please contact Drew Carr at Fidelity Sports Group. firstname.lastname@example.org
About Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital
Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital is committed to the health and well-being of children, adolescents and families. Today, Geisinger pediatrics serves 45 counties and their specialty-trained pediatric doctors and nurses provide expertise in more than 30 medical and surgical disciplines, treating common to the most complex pediatric health conditions. That commitment includes Northeast Pennsylvania where Geisigner serves approximately 60,000 young patients each year. It extends to children of all ages and includes the 2,583 babies that were delivered at Geisinger Community Medical Center and Geisinger Wyoming Valley in 2021. And for newborns that require additional care, the Level III Tambur Family Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) is ready to serve.
About Play Yellow
Play Yellow is a unique cause platform for the golf industry. Barbara and Jack Nicklaus are asking for your support. Barbara and Jack Nicklaus have established a lifelong commitment to saving the lives of children by supporting children’s hospitals. Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals provide the perfect platform to give back to children’s hospitals. Its network of 170 children’s hospitals across North America allows the golf community to give back to the communities in which they play and support. CMN Hospitals was built on the premise of keeping funds in local communities and allowing hospitals to use the funds where they are needed most.
Launched in cooperation with the PGA TOUR, the “Play Yellow” campaign has a goal of raising $100 million in the next five years for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Nationwide Children’s Hospital, which has been the primary beneficiary of the Memorial Tournament since its inception in 1976, is one of 170 CMN hospitals in the country. The hospitals rely on donations to fund pediatric care for millions of children.
The “Play Yellow” theme is inspired by the yellow shirts that Nicklaus often wore in the final round of tournaments in honor of Craig Smith, the son of a close friend who was fighting bone cancer. Craig died in 1971 at the age of 13. In the final round of the 1986 Masters, the Golden Bear wore a yellow shirt to again honor Craig, and he went on to win his sixth green jacket.