The rain at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, New Jersey did not dampen the celebration honoring one of the LPGA’s greatest trailblazers, Renee Powell.
Just one day after the conclusion of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the LPGA came together with legacy partners KPMG and Mariah Stackhouse to host the third annual Renee Powell Clearview Legacy Benefit. The highly anticipated event brought together LPGA and Epson Tour players, LPGA Professionals as well as LPGA*USGA Girls Golf members and many other corporate partners.
This unique event continues to raise money and awareness for the Clearview Legacy Foundation, a charity designed to continue the legacy of Renee’s father Bill Powell and the course he built by hand in the family’s home state of Ohio in 1946.
“You know, I’ve been a member of the LPGA for many decades, and I am so proud of my association because they really stepped up and said, ‘How can we help?’” Powell shared with those in attendance before the pro-am teed off. “It’s so heartwarming to see everything that the LPGA and KPMG have done for all these years to support Clearview.
“It’s about the past, present and the future. If you don’t know where you come from, then you don’t know where you can go.”
Clearview Golf Club is much more than just a course. Powell emphasized its relevance not only in golf, but discussed its significance in American history, shedding light on the challenges faced by her parents and all they did to make a difference.
Fellow event host Mariah Stackhouse echoed this sentiment and how much Powell’s family has done for generations of black golfers.
“My parents wanted to make sure that I knew about the history of the game and the sacrifices and experiences that black golfers who have come before me in previous generations have done to pave the way,” Stackhouse said. “As part of those lessons, my parents taught me about the course that Renee’s father built, which is the only course in the United States that was designed, built and owned by an African American.
“To now have this opportunity to work with the LPGA and KPMG to preserve this legacy, it truly means the world to me."
Honoring this legacy is something Stackhouse and her fellow pros in attendance don’t take for granted. It’s the main reason so many players chose to participate the day after finishing up a grueling major championship week. LPGA pros in attendance included Brianna Do, Maria Fassi, Christina Kim, Annie Park, Sophia Schubert, Charlotte Thomas and Albane Valenzuela, and Jenny Shin, who was in the final group at the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. Epson Tour players Lakareber Abe, Shasta Averyhardt and Anita Uwadia also took time out of their busy schedules to come and support Powell.
With the start of the pro-am delayed due to rain, Kim, Park, Shin and Schubert stepped up to lead an impromptu player discussion panel. They shared personal experiences from life on tour, best advice for young golfers, and even answered questions from the crowd.
Once the rain passed, everyone went out on the course for an unusual, yet fun pro-am. Players were stationed on individual holes along with Girls Golf Jersey Shore and Greater Newark members to host special skills challenges like the 3-club and “tee” cup challenge. This not only made for a unique experience for the competitors, but it provided an amazing opportunity for the Tour players to connect with the junior girls, leaving them with lasting memories for a lifetime.
After the conclusion of play, Epson sponsored a celebratory luncheon and diversity panel on the topic of Allyship, a concept that holds the power to activate diversity, drive impact and propel equity. LPGA Foundation Board member Jacqueline Nickelberry led a masterclass and engaging conversation with Kendra Jones, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer with Epson America, and Aubrey Harrell, Partner & Chair of the African Ancestry BRG with KPMG U.S. Both are exemplary allies to the LPGA in delivering the support necessary to transform and expand the women’s game. In addition, attendees heard from LPGA/Epson tour players Mariah Stackhouse and Lakareber Abe who added their personal insights and real-life experiences to the discussion.
“Epson was very excited to have the opportunity to support Renee Powell’s mission through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Panel,” said Jones. “We wanted to give a platform for women of color to talk about their stories and to encourage more people to be allies.”
The importance of sponsor support can’t be overlooked. KPMG, together with LPGA Tour player Mariah Stackhouse, has been a driving force in growing this event since its inception in 2021; and thanks to their support and commitment, more than $600,000 has been raised to help preserve and improve Clearview Golf Club.
“Any time you preserve something in sports, I think it’s important because if you don’t look to the past to see either the mistakes that were made, opportunities that were there, or what lessons we can glean, we don’t know how to move forward in the right ways,” said Shawn Quill, National Sports Industry Leader for KPMG U.S. “So, I think that what we’re doing here is tremendously important in preserving the past, particularly in the sport of golf, to make it more accessible, and to be another step in a positive direction in growing the game.”