The seed for the Kuyahoora Valley Foundation, Inc. was planted on June 12th, 1987. This was the wedding day of Ike Coffin and Kelly Bowers. Ike, the oldest of 13 siblings, arranged for a small(?) group of friends and family to play golf at the Golf Club of Newport in Newport, NY. What transpired from that day was not only a successful marriage, but the makings of a small town mid-summer classic, appropriately named the Coffin Family & Friends Invitational, in the picturesque Kuyahoora Valley located in Central New York.
Thinking it was a great idea to get friends and family together, Ike’s thoughts turned to organizing an annual golf event and in time raise money for charity causes. Two years later, the first outing was organized.
The first tournament was called the Non-Leon Fore (don’t ask) and was held at the beautiful hidden treasure called the Golf Club of Newport. The formats for this inaugural event were two-man best ball and Individual. The best-ball champs were Jim Weakley and Robbie Forward. The Individual champ was the incomparable Mike “Lew” Kayes. Forty-eight golfers competed, all forty-eight survived.
The second annual tournament, the first Coffin Family & Friends Invitational Golf Tournament, drew 96 golfers and was held for the benefit of the Kuyahoora Valley Ambulance Corp. This event, and all those subsequent, was played under the Captain and Crew (Scramble) format. It was at this point that it was decided to name the coveted trophy “The Kuyahoora Cup”. It took only 2 years to get it spelled right – or is it Kyuahoorah?
In the following years, the Coffin Family & Friends Invitational has grown by leaps and bounds. As many as 288 golfers have participated in a single event. In addition to the golfers, we have friends and family who come to volunteer, support a good cause and enjoy a great meal and good old-fashioned camaraderie.
In 1998, the Memorial Atlanta Classic (the “MAC Daddy”) golf tournament was founded in Atlanta, GA and the Coffin & Friends Tour was born. The tour has evolved into a way of also helping those in need in additional local communities and sharing “Small Town Values for Life” across the country. In 2000, the Coffin & Friends Tour Championship in Virginia Beach, VA was added as the third Major.
The Kuyahoora Valley Foundation, Inc. received its official 501(c)3 tax-exempt status in 2004 as a non-profit organization (EIN: 41-2091147).
In planning each event, we strive to reach four goals:
1. To help those less fortunate.
2. To have a great time with friends and family.
3. To relish the great game of GOLF and its enduring qualities.
4. To give just a little something back.
What we are most proud of is the fact that over the years we have raised and donated over $621,000 to various charitable organizations and to neighbors and friends with special needs. This is a not just a credit to the organizers and volunteers, but to the golfers and sponsors who are more and more generous each year.
Without the dedication of family and friends, the generosity of our sponsors, the Kuyahoora Valley Foundation, Inc. would not be the great success that it is – making each event like no other. Peace Out!