Clothing drive nets UMES national acclaim

  • Inaugural 'Golden Hanger' honorees

    Thursday, January 18, 2018
    Joe Ellis, left, and Tyler McElroy

    A clothing drive UMES' PGA golf management students conducted in 2017 has received national recognition by a philanthropy founded by golf pros that collects and passes on recycled apparel to the needy. 

    UMES students' efforts in rounding up nearly 500 pounds of “gently used” clothing donated to Go-Getters of Salisbury won the inaugural Golden Hanger Challenge sponsored by the Pros Fore Clothes Foundation. 

    The recognition earned UMES upperclassmen Joe Ellis and Tyler McElroy an all-expenses paid trip in December to Raleigh, N.C. where they toured the corporate headquarters of Peter Millar, a popular golf apparel manufacturer. 

    Winning the competition, Ellis said, “meant all of our efforts as a team helped better our community.” 

    All told, the competition generated slightly more than a ton of clothes collected by UMES and three other universities with golf management degree programs that accepted the challenge. 

    Go-Getters of Salisbury, the local beneficiary, is "a community of friendship providing sanctuary & support to adults recovering from substance abuse and / or severe mental illness on the Lower Shore." 

    McElroy said he was thrilled after learning UMES won the “Golden Hanger” trophy, which will be presented in the spring semester. 

    Charlie Schuyler and his wife launched the Pros Fore Clothes Foundation. Schuyler is a senior assistant golf pro at the Augusta National Golf Club, home of the renowned Masters' tournament.

    Go-Getters of Salisbury was the clothing drive beneficiary

    The Schuylers came up with the idea for a clothing-centric foundation after realizing pro golfers accumulate a lot of apparel from corporate sponsors and golf course pro shops that ends up in closets unworn after a handful of times. 

    The foundation website notes the couple “wondered 'what if we collect as much excess clothing as we can and deliver it to people in need? Hence, the idea was born for Pros Fore Clothes.'” 

    Even golf management students like Ellis, McElroy and their classmates know that situation. Degree requirements include hands-on experience working at golf courses, where students will typically be handed a stack of shirts with logos to wear on the job. 

    “This competition made perfect sense to me,” Ellis said. “I don't need five shirts from the same internship” once it ends. 

    McElroy said “we love the community service aspect of it,” noting he and his peers also have served as volunteers at the Salisbury Zoo. 

    In addition to the “Golden Hanger” trophy recognizing their stellar efforts, each UMES golf management student will receive an individual gift as well as participate in an on-campus educational program presented by Schuyler's foundation as well as senior executives from Peter Millar. 

    Billy Dillon, UMES' golf management program director, said the success of the clothing drive revealed his students' altruism and expressed hope UMES students majoring in fashion merchandising might also be able to participate in the one-day clothing event. 

    The other universities participating in the inaugural clothing drive were Methodist University in North Carolina, Eastern Kentucky University and Penn State, Schuyler's alma mater. 

    “A phenomenal effort by all programs,” he said, “but thanks to the superior leadership of University of Maryland Eastern Shore students, Joe Ellis and Tyler McElroy, the UMES PGM program (is) the contest winner!”