Barely dodging the rain, the winners of the “Golf Giveaway” of two veterans membership passes and one couples membership pass for the remainder of the year were celebrated by NYVT Media and Hartford Greens Country Club on July 14.
Gary and Irene Taylor of Fort Ann were the couples membership winners while Don Woodworth of Fort Hudson and Dave Maynard of Queensbury were the veterans membership winners. Woodworth and Maynard still don’t know which one of their friends entered them in, and Gary Taylor didn’t know his wife Irene had entered them in the first place.
Dylan Faille, owner of Hartford Greens Country Club, is motivated by seeing other people want to come to his course.
“As long as people appreciate it, we’ll be out there forever,” Faille said. “Everyone seemed so happy and that gives me the strength to keep going for good people.”
The Taylors said they enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere of the game of golf.
The couple look to use their passes as much as possible, with Irene aiming to take Gary’s father’s advice of “just hit it” so she can gain an advantage over her husband on the greens.
Woodworth is excited to bring his golfing mates in Queensbury over to Hartford and show them the “real” reason he won the season-long membership.
“It’s because the best golfer gets it!” he said with a laugh.
Woodworth spent three-and-a-half years on the USS Watts (DD-567) during the Korean War and recalled a tumultuous experience involving a typhoon that involved chest-high waters.
“Seasick all the time until we got a typhoon on the Midway,” Woodworth said. “I was standing on the bridge with the captain and the officer on the deck and water up to here (pointing to his chest) on the bridge with lifeguards and ropes on us, we went down into a swale. A 50-foot wave would hit us and the ship would shake. I would shake. I turned to Gunner Marshall and I said, “are we going to make this, Gunner?” And he said to me “Woody, this is a baby storm!”… and from that point on, I was never seasick!”
Woodworth is a firm believer in the Navy’s motto: “Join the Navy, see the world.” He sure did that by traveling through the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, Panama, the South Pacific, and into Korea.
With golfing becoming a passion of his, Woodworth is thrilled to take advantage of the new adjustments and advancements made to the holes and cart paths at Hartford Greens.
“These greens are some of the best in the area,” Woodworth said.
Maynard spent two tours in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968.
“I made it home, and that’s my thanks to everybody who did not and those are my heroes,” Maynard said.
Maynard, who has just recovered from back surgery, said he’s already looking forward to bringing three of his golf buddies over weekly to have a good time.
“I haven’t played here in four or five years, (but) it’s a great place to play,” Maynard said. “I’m back to play.”
Maynard was a former iron worker in New York City. He was coerced into playing a round of golf with his coworkers after putting up the entire wall of a building in a day with enough time to hit the course.
“Golf is, you meet people,” he said.
Source of inspiration
A major reason Faille was inspired to do the giveaway in the first place was to honor his grandfather, a World War II veteran.
“My grandfather was my idol,” Faille said. “I learned about my trades from him, I was inspired by everything he went through.”
Faille’s grandfather was stationed in Normandy in the tank division, walking alongside tanks and ultimately surviving despite having both legs amputated.
The veteran told his grandson one of the most beautiful sights of his life was a blossoming pink tree in Germany, a location in the 1940s that could be compared to no-man’s-land.
“They’re (veterans) the only people I really get along with,” Faille said. “To me, respect isn’t spoken. You respect someone for putting in the work.”
Faille feels it’s the ultimate display of respect to one who devoted their life to their country by putting on the veterans pass giveaway.
“To me, it shows them while they’re still around that at least one person in my generation got the message,” he said. “That they didn’t serve for nothing.”
Celebrating a year of being open, Faille said the biggest accomplishment in that feat has been staying true to his word and listening to both the customers and the community.
“We’re going to try some different things, be it live music (for example). Any event that someone throws my way that’s weird and interesting, we’ll try,” Faille said. “This should be more than golf… I’ll do whatever catches on. I don’t have an agenda, my vision comes back from the feedback of other people.”
Positive results create opportunity
Julie Fedler, advertising director for NYVT Media, was impressed by Faille’s commitment to the community.
“What really struck us was his passion for the community,” Fedler said of Faille. “It was his way of giving back, which is interesting because he’s not originally from here.”
Fedler was happily surprised by Faille’s consistency to stay dedicated and follow through with what he said he aimed to achieve.
In exchange for future promotional and advertising packages, Faille gave NYVT Media the opportunity to give away the two veterans passes and the couples pass in a raffle.
“It was our way of supporting him as a new business owner and also engaging and exciting our readers,” Fedler said. “In the end, it was clearly a win-win-win… we proved to him that we could deliver with our promise.”
Fedler said it was a joy to bring people who had never met before but all had common interests and life events together.
“To hear the validity that once they looked us up, they (the winners) knew we were for real,” Fedler said. “Having these types of giveaways and coming up with creative ways to give back to our customers… that’s something that’s really important to us. To listen and deliver to our customers’ needs.”
The next scheduled NYVT Media giveaway will be furniture through Telescope Casual Furniture Inc.