John Schroeder, known for his commitment and contributions to the game, passed away on September 27.
Always pushing others to be more involved, to do more for the game, and to give more of ourselves, John led by example and kept going until the very end.
Just two weeks ago, on September 15, John, despite the ravages brought on by his illness, had organized a small golf tournament featuring eight PGA Golf Professionals from the Spokane area for a thrilling match-play competition held at Kalispel Golf and Country Club. He named the event, “Giving Back to the Game.”
The eight PGA Golf Professionals were divided into two teams, each playing in a singles match. Points earned from these matches would contribute to their respective team’s score.
“John invited me to attend the event and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Troy Andrew, CEO/executive director of WA Golf. “A chance to reconnect with our dear friend John and witness this inspiring event. I made the journey to Spokane, spent a memorable evening with John and his family over dinner, and the next morning we headed to the course for the matches.”
John had everything meticulously organized, from signage to the rules of golf for the match. He even had a team of dedicated volunteers to assist with bunker raking and live scoring. As the day concluded, John delivered a remarkable presentation and distributed awards to the players and the various associations receiving donations. It was, without a doubt, a day filled with inspiration and heartfelt emotions.
“What struck me most was how John, the man behind this incredible event, remained entirely selfless,” Andrew said. “Throughout the day, he never once focused on himself. Instead, he celebrated the PGA Professionals and their own extraordinary contributions to the game, highlighting their unwavering dedication. I consider myself incredibly fortunate and blessed to have been part of this unforgettable day.”
In addition to the prize fund given to the players, John’s event extended beyond the tournament itself. During the awards presentation, he presented significant donations to four notable organizations: Washington Golf Foundation, First Tee of Inland Empire, PGA Inland Empire Section, and the Washington Junior Golf Association.
John put up the purse and donations himself, a dollar amount equal to what he would have spent, had he been healthy, on his own travel expenses this year as a volunteer Rules official for WA Golf, PNGA and several other associations around the country.
The local community also found the event inspiring, even catching the attention of the local news station, which covered the story. Click here to watch the TV news segment.
In early September the Pacific Northwest Golf Association Distinguished Service Award Committee added John to the recipient list for the 2023 PNGA Distinguished Service Award. This award is considered to be that Association’s highest honor, and it will now be given posthumously later this fall at an intimate ceremony held in John’s honor.