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A Successful Day To Show How SUNY’s Got Your Back

SUNY's Got Your Back bags on a table outdoors at The Barclays event.

The PGA TOUR Playoffs get started today with the first round of The Barclays from Bethpage Black in Farmingdale. But yesterday, as athletes, fans, and visitors were getting ready to compete today, SUNY, state agencies and supporters did a little competing of their own. The goal was to fill as many bags of comfort items as possible for the SUNY’s Got Your Back campaign in order to deliver them to regional domestic violence and rape crisis centers throughout Long Island and New York City. The effort was a resounding success, as thousands of bags were filled in 6 hours time.

SUNY's Got Your Back table setup at The Barclays.

Volunteers stand behind a table of comfort items before the SUNY’s Got Your Back event starts at The Barclays.

Organizers arrived bright and early at 7am to set up the station where donation bags would be filled and packaged. As soon as the gates opened, attendees and staff at The Barclays were able to learn about the program and sexual and interpersonal violence resources in New York, as well as fill bags themselves to help the effort succeed. Throughout the day, nearly 80 volunteers helped guide attendees, fill and pack bags, and load trucks with finished boxes that could be delivered to local shelters.

A large check is presnted to the SUNY 's Got Your Back volunteers at The Barclays.

A check for $10,000 is presented to SUNY at The Barclays at Bethpage Golf Course for the SUNY’s Got Your Back campaign.

Shortly before noon, the highlight of the day took place as PGA TOUR pros Chris Kirk and Vaughn Taylor appeared help fill some bags as well as present a very generous donation check from the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Wives Association, and The Barclays to SUNY in the amount of $10,000. The money will be used to help the SUNY’s Got Your Back program continue to expand and provide more resources to more shelters in New York.

A system-wide level of support

The support of the program from SUNY campuses has been tremendous so far. Farmingdale State College President John Nader joined the volunteers at The Barclays during the day to fill some bags and help garner support. He said about the effort, “I’m so proud that our students and vets have responded so enthusiastically to our call to help stuff backpacks for ‘SUNY’s Got Your Back’ campaign. Having the Barclays PGA Tour literally in our backyard makes the connection even stronger.”

Along with Farmingdale students, students from SUNY Old Westbury also volunteered at yesterday’s event. Calvin Butts, III, President of SUNY Old Westbury, noted that “Today’s event offers a vivid illustration of the role we all can play in supporting those who are victims of violence and abuse. Issues like these should not be private matters and raising awareness about them is critical. Even more important is showing our students and our communities that we together can make a difference by speaking out, acting in support of victims, and aiding those organizations whose mission is to help those who are impacted.”

Lisa Evaneski, Title IX Coordinator at SUNY Oswego and President of the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association, was also excited about the amount of participation the event received. “We couldn’t be more thankful to the PGA Tour, for their generous donation, as well as the volunteers from the PGA Tour, the PGA Tour Wives Association, and the Barclays PGA Tournament, who stood with volunteers and partners across the state to support more New Yorkers in need.”

And Marc Cohen, the President of the SUNY Student Assembly, was proud to state, “As a student at the University at Albany where I have been involved in campus efforts to create an environment free from sexual violence, and as the leader of our more than half a million students, I’m proud to support this critical cause. I know that as a system, we will do everything we possibly can to support the victims of sexual assault and violence.”

If you weren’t able to be a part of the event, be aware that the SUNY’s Got Your Back program is continuing forward and you can help support in other ways. To donate funds to help expand the program, visit and use the online portal to donate. You can also visit the websites of our partners NYSCASA and NYSCADV to learn more and directly support their important work. 

In addition to the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Wives Association, and Barclays Tournament, the SUNY’s Got Your Back Program has been supported by the New York State Police, JM Murray of Cortland, the Specialty Advertising Association of Greater New York (SAAGNY), the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence, Staples, CVS Health, Field Notes, and Notes Inc. a division of Dupli Envelopes and Graphics.

    Taras Kufel

      Written by Taras Kufel

      Taras Kufel is the Manager of Digital Engagement at the State University of New York.

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