What it Means to Us to Support the Hattie Larlham Foundation


June 29, 2017

We are delighted to have supported this year’s Annual Sugar Bush Golf Classic on Wednesday, May 17, which raised $77,000 to benefit the Hattie Larlham Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides medical, residential, recreational and work training services to 1,800 children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Below we hear from Skylight’s Jonathan Goldston, who chaired and sponsored this hugely successful golf outing and from Skylight’s Michelle Arch (Assistant to Jonathan) who played a pivotal role in the planning committee, on what it means to them to be involved. (Check out some great photos from the day below)

Jonathan Goldston, Partner and Financial Planner at Skylight Financial Group and Chair of the Sugar Bush Golf Classic Planning Committee

I first got involved with the Sugar Bush outing through a client of mine, Avery Cohen, who was on the board of Hattie Larlham at that time.  He took me to the main residential Center in Mantua where I met some of the most profoundly disabled and fragile humans that I could have imagined. Many had complex health requirements and I was blown away by the remarkable and ground-breaking work the Center did in giving them comfort, joy, and achievement.  I knew right away that I wanted to help. It just felt natural for me to get involved as my upbringing taught me that giving is extremely important to be a complete human being and that you have to give in order to be grateful for what you have. So, I joined the committee for the golf outing (I had previously run successful golf outings with other organizations) and within a couple of years I was voted to chair the committee and I have been there ever since. That’s nearly a decade ago and it’s such an honor!

What’s particularly exciting is that the outing is going from strength to strength and has become a massive benefit. Michelle has made a big impact since joining the committee – she has put systems in place, made the outing more fun and created a buzz which has all led to additional sponsorships and revenue. This year we raised a staggering $77,000 – which is a new event record!  50% of the proceeds will be distributed to Hattie’s Creative Arts program which is very dear to my heart.  I think it’s amazing how art can open a whole new world and means of communication, particularly for non-verbal residents, who find a way to express themselves and get the opportunity to exhibit and sell their own work in the Hattie Larlham gallery.  A further 50% is going to the ventilator program to help newborns breathe.

It feels amazing to know that the proceeds will make such a major difference to these individuals.  Huge thanks to the 250 golfers, staff, committee, volunteers, special guests and sponsors who made the day such fun and a huge success!”

Michelle Arch, Assistant to Skylight’s Jonathan Goldston and Committee Member of the Sugar Bush Golf Classic Planning Committee

“I first became involved in the outing when I started working with Jonathan nearly eight years ago. It was difficult to comprehend the impact this event had until the day of. It’s one thing to prepare and help the committee leading up to the event, it’s another to see your hard work, effort, and commitment come together. After the first year of lending a hand, I was hooked. I can’t think of a much better feeling than knowing what we do is directly impacting the lives of so many individuals. One of the coolest memories I have of this year’s outing was looking over during registration and seeing one of the residents handing out the golfer’s gifts. To me, that is what makes the outing so special. Also, Hattie’s Café, a work training program that provides employment to people with developmental disabilities, sends out residents to make milkshakes for the golfers throughout the day. These interactions are magical!

We are thrilled with the success of this year’s event and I attribute this to great teamwork and camaraderie.  It’s no easy task organizing two golf outings in one day. I can’t say thank you enough to the 50 volunteers who give up their time and our special guests Bob DiBasio, Bill Wills, and Reggie “Foghorne” Langhorne for their continued support.  To our amazing spronsors, and our presenting sponsors the Sugar Bush Golf Club and Middlefield Bank, who support the event year after year.

Together, we pulled off an amazing event and beat our record – knowing what an impact this will make to so many individuals with developmental disabilities puts a big smile on my face!”

Thanks, Jonathan and Michelle for sharing with us.

Click here to learn more about the Hattie Larlham Foundation.