As Stacey Klimchuk marched into Opening Ceremony at the 18th Maccabiah Games in 2009, following in the footsteps of her mother, a five-time Maccabi USA alumna, she was moved by the power of the moment. The connection to Israel, Judaism, and her family was lifechanging. It was unlike anything she had ever experienced before. This was a defining moment for Stacey who realized without Maccabi USA none of this would have been possible. This has motivated her to make sure others will have the chance to represent USA like she did. Participation in the Games were passed down from her mother, which has driven her to continue the tradition of handing down this opportunity to future generations.
Stacey felt an immense pride in being Jewish and felt fortunate to share that experience not only with her family, but also with other athletes from the USA delegation and around the world. During the Games, Stacey met her now husband, Aaron, who was a member of the Juniors’ Boys Golf Team. Stacey “fell in love with the Maccabiah” and could not wait to compete again.
Flash forward to 2013, Stacey was appointed as a member of the Open Women’s Golf Team. This time, her experience was completely different. In 2009, she was the youngest member of the Open Women’s Golf Team at age 16, but in 2013 at age 20, she played alongside other teammates who were close to her age. Her team became her family and she is still touch with multiple teammates to this day, many of whom came to her and Aaron’s wedding in 2017.
“The Maccabiah Games gave me this incredible experience, so I choose to give back to the organization that changed me, my family, and my life.” Stacey notes that it is significant to develop a culture of giving around the young alumni. Everyone lives incredibly busy lives, but “we need to remember the organizations that changed our lives. We need to give back to the communities we are apart of. Maccabi USA and the Maccabiah Games are the most important community that I’ve been apart of.”
Although young and new to her career, Stacey believes in making an impact through philanthropy; to be part of something larger than herself. She has recently increased her monthly donation to Maccabi USA. To learn more about monthly donation opportunities click here.