40 From Our 40: Pete Wojtowicz

Pete and his wife Melissa with two of their children, Audrey and Dawson.

Pete and his wife Melissa with two of their children, Audrey and Dawson.

This is a special year for anniversaries at Ronald McDonald Charities of Central Indiana (RMHCCIN). Not only is the House celebrating a major milestone, Swing for Kids and the event’s founder, Pete Wojtowicz, are celebrating 35 years of golf benefiting RMHCCIN.

Pete is a true leader and champion of the House. It is his vision and passion for this annual golf tournament that has raised millions of dollars for RMHCCIN since its inception in 1986. Pete is a second-generation McDonald’s Restaurant Owner/Operator and so he knew about the Ronald McDonald House. At that time, Owner/Operators were required by McDonald’s to demonstrate involvement with their local communities. Pete thought it over and wondered if it were possible to combine his passion for golf with a way to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House.Vintage photo of Pete at Swing for Kids

He was successful when he created the Swing for Kids Golf Tournament and has been captaining the event ever since its inception. He reflected on his favorite moment in the tournament’s long history, “The first night, after we finished the event, my wife and I sat in the parking lot at the Indianapolis Country Club and just cried happy tears because we had pulled it off and raised $14,500 for the House.” He has been championing the cause ever since, playing, organizing, and making it the tremendous success it is today. The event is supported by many McDonald’s vendors as well as other corporations in the community. It is a top-of-class day of golf with competitive and recreational golfers all out to help families heal together.

When asked why RMHCCIN is important to the community, Pete shared, “The Ronald McDonald House supports families and children and the mission is so relatable, it’s hard to find anyone that hasn’t been touched by it.” Family is extremely important to Pete. His family has been a part of the event since the beginning, and he is working to train his son Dawson to take over the tournament one day. But until that time, Pete looks forward to the challenges each year brings, new exciting courses, new fundraising goals and of course, the unexpected.

By Stacy Clark

Heart & Hearth Summer 2022