Miracle Makers: WNY Optics Family Sees Value in Pediatric Care First-Hand, Several Times Over
Outstanding Commitment by a Community Group
Amanda Schulmerich’s life has been saved twice by Golisano Children’s Hospital at the University of Rochester Medical Center. She was born seven weeks premature at a little more than 2 pounds and relied on the hospital’s attentive neonatal intensive care unit staff to help her grow and gain strength. And at 11-years-old, Amanda was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that Golisano Children’s Hospital doctors treated successfully. Though Amanda no longer comes to Golisano Children’s Hospital for care, her family’s relationship with the hospital is far from over.
“When Amanda got sick, the hospital became an integral part of our lives,” said Ron Schulmerich, Amanda’s dad. The Schulmerichs wanted to thank the hospital, so they began holding a golf tournament for the western New York optics industry in 2000. The event was a hit from its first year and has grown immensely since then, attracting optics companies to Rochester from all over the country and the world. The Schulmerichs will celebrate their 11th annual WNY Optics golf fundraiser for the hospital Thursday, July 21, at Shadow Lake and Shadow Pines golf courses.
“Giving back enriches our lives and it allows us to tell the people in my business about the hospital in a grassroots way,” Schulmerich said.
Participants have become very invested in the cause over the years, Ron shared. Friendly rivalries between teams and among individuals have grown over the years. The tradition of finding fun ways to work together to support a charitable cause speaks to the camaraderie and spirit of the industry as a whole, Ron noted. He is grateful for the support of the tournament’s participants, who have helped make the event so successful.
“We could never work hard enough to pay the hospital back,” Ron said. “The hospital says thank you to us when really it should be reciprocal. We want to continue raising awareness and funds for Golisano Children’s Hospital as a way of thanking the staff and administration. In a small way, it helps the phenomenal work continue to benefit children.”
The Schulmerichs have been able to thank the hospital more than they ever could have imagined, having raised a remarkable total of $94,039 to benefit Golisano Children’s Hospital. When Ron and his wife Diane learned they were receiving a Miracle Maker award, they expressed how humbled and surprised they were.
“We just don’t think about what holding the tournament means a whole lot,” said Diane Schulmerich. “We’re happy to help. That is the intent. I feel like it’s something that we can do, so we should do it. Our entire extended family has continued to participate year after year and we couldn’t do it without their love and support.”
Golisano Children’s Hospital is proud to celebrate the dedicated, selfless work of the Schulmerich family, who set out with a simple goal of doing good and wound up making miracles happen in the process. For more information on the WNY Optics Golf Tournament, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.