From the desk of the Executive Director, Emily Stuart

The 13th Annual Ron Ortyl Memorial Golf Tournament was held on Monday, September 27 at Norwood Hills Country Club.

This week I had the opportunity to attend the 13th Annual Ron Ortyl Memorial Golf Tournament, an annual ‘scramble’ hosted by Metro East Industries benefiting GPG, which has raised over $465,000 for our pet welfare community. As a nonprofit professional for the past fifteen years, I have participated in my fair share of charity golf tournaments. The formula is expected: friendly competition, a little bit of day-drinking, plated dinner, silent auctions, raffles and a handful of mission moments. I’ve left these events feeling tired and grateful, but never truly inspired. Until now.

Since 2010, the Ortyl-Tampow family have generously donated funds raised at this tournament to GPG. This family has invested deeply in our leadership and programs, and we are incredibly grateful.

The tournament is helmed by one of the impressive family matriarchs, Cindy Tampow, whose attention to detail is nuanced (paw print M&Ms!) and who embodies grace under pressure. Joining her is her daughter and GPG Board member, Jen Dolce, who is as funny as she is smart. It wasn’t until Mark Tampow’s elegant tribute to the tournament’s namesake, his grandfather, that I realized how deeply this family loves and respects one another. I finally met R.J., another grandchild, in person who is a bit of a legend around GPG, appearing on our doorstep with countless animals he’s rescued around town. Throughout the event, I encountered several more family members, each more gracious than the last. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a family who genuinely enjoys each other this much!  And that’s what made this fundraiser so special – the motivator was love, not obligation.

I usually spend my time at these events thanking people for giving me a couple minutes of their time. This time, I had folks chase me down from across the room to thank me for what GPG does in our community. Multiple attendees showed me photos of their pets and told me the story of an animal they adopted.  As quads of golfers passed by our information table at hole 10, we were greeted with happy cheers of “we love GPG!”  It’s clear that the Ortyl-Tampow family have fostered a spirit of giving over the years that permeates every corner of this tournament, in tribute to a great man who loved animals and loved our region. It was almost enough to convince me to learn how golf works.

To everyone who organized, volunteered, played and donated during this year’s tournament, we are overwhelmed with gratitude. We’ll see you on the green next year!

Please contact Emily Stuart | emily@gatewaypets.org