Under the leadership of Chairwoman Tina Gregor, the J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust saw marked growth in the past year with the debut of the EMPOWER Youth Leadership Development Program and over $1.2 million in Scholarship grants awarded. To date, more than 3,800 young men and women have received $23 million in educational grants.
The Trust is pleased to welcome Powell W. Arms & Andrew Downs of Philadelphia Cricket Club, Damon P. Heller of Bent Creek Country Club, and David A. Ix of Merion Golf Club as the newest members of the Platt Board of Trustees. All have been elected to serve a one-year term and were recommended by the J. Wood Platt Nominating Committee, comprised of Paul L. Mauer, Chairman, Robert M. Morey, Richard L. Skelly, and Jonathan P. Warner. Subsequent to nomination, the slate was approved by the GAP Executive Committee.
- Arms, 52, is Senior Vice President and Managing Director of the Retail Division at High Real Estate Group, a Lancaster commercial real estate development company. A member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club since 2005, he has served on the club’s board since 2015 as well as on the Finance and Heritage Committees. He has served as a J. Wood Platt Club Director since 2012. He resides in Narberth and is the proud parent of T.J., a 2020 UVA graduate.
- Downs, 42, is a member of the Philadelphia Cricket Club, where he serves on the Membership Engagement Committee. He is a J. Wood Platt Scholar and current Club Director, having caddied at Merion Golf Club. A graduate of the University of Richmond, he obtained his MBA from Arcadia University, where he is now employed. He has 20 years of experience in international higher education and is passionate about international experiences and the value to study abroad programs for students. He has been married for five years to Lisa Pickles.
- Heller, 42, is an Investment Advisor in Lancaster where he lives with his wife and two daughters. He is a graduate of Wilkes University where he was a member of the Men’s Basketball team, making an appearance at the NCAA Division III Final Four. He has twice been inducted into the Wilkes University Hall of Fame. A longtime member of Bent Creek Country Club, he serves on the Golf Committee and as Club Director for J. Wood Platt. Damon spent his teenage years working as a caddie at Bent Creek. He lives in Lititz with his wife, Stefanie, and his daughters, Anya and Gavriela.
- Ix, 55, is a Regional Senior Vice President at Brinker Capital. In this role, he is responsible for new business development and client service in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He has over 32 years of industry experience. He is a current member of the Villiger Executive Council at St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and the Crusader Scholarship Trust at Lancaster Catholic High School. A resident of Berwyn for 29 years, he has been married for 28 Years to Karen Denison Ix, a licensed family and marriage therapist. He has three children, Matthew, a 2020 graduate of Dartmouth, Christopher, a junior at Northwestern, and Sarah, a freshman at Boston College. He was a caddie at Lancaster Country Club from 1980 to 1985, and was the club’s Junior Champion in 1982. He also caddied in college, while at Boston College, and played on the men’s golf team. Ix has been a member at Merion Golf Club since 2009 and has served as a J. Wood Platt Club Director since 2016.
Retiring from the Board are Brian Kelly, of Whitemarsh Valley Country Club, and Gerald Eckert, of Bent Creek Country Club. Kelly, a former caddie, served on the board since 2004, and chaired the Nominating and Lifetime Committees. Eckert, also a former caddie, has been a member of the board since 2017, and served on the Development Committee.
The Nominating Committee is pleased to present the following nominees for 2021, each for a term of one year.
Chairwoman: Mrs. Tina Gregor – Huntingdon Valley Country Club
Vice-Chairman: Mr. Thomas L. Spano – Llanerch Country Club
Secretary: Mr. Jeffrey R. Mitzak – Stonewall
Treasurer: Mr. Michael P. Helmick – Lookaway Golf Club
Mr. Robert M. Aiken – St. Davids Golf Club
Mr. Powell W. Arms – Philadelphia Cricket Club
Mr. Michael J. Ayrer – Merion Golf Club
Mr. Todd R. Baron – Pine Valley Golf Club
Mr. Gerald E. Darling – Union League Golf Club at Torresdale
Mr. Andrew Downs – Philadelphia Cricket Club
Mr. Edward T. Ellis – Chester Valley Golf Club
Mr. Damon P. Heller – Bent Creek Country Club
Mr. David A. Ix – Merion Golf Club
Mr. William W. Jeremiah – Bidermann Golf Club
Mr. William E. Lynch, Jr. – Merion Golf Club
Mr. Michael J. Ryan – Rolling Green Golf Club
Mr. Erik O. Strid – Philadelphia Country Club
Mr. Oscar Mestre, Golf Association of Philadelphia – Overbrook Golf Club
Mr. Charles M. Raudenbush, PGA of Philadelphia – Pine Valley Golf Club
Mrs. Denise Viola, WGAP – Trenton Country Club
J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust
The Trust’s mission, which has remained constant since its inception in 1958, is to financially aid deserving caddies in their pursuit of higher education. The J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholarship Trust was created by GAP through the efforts of then President Walter A. Schmidt; Leo Fraser, President of the local section of Professional Golfers Association of America; and Albert Keeping, Golf Professional at Gulph Mills Golf Club. It was named in honor of Philadelphia’s premier golfer of the era, J. Wood Platt. Not only was Mr. Platt an accomplished player, but he was also the Trust’s co-founder and first contributor.