LUKE CIMINERA has been asked his entire life why he doesn’t work for his family’s restau- rant: Ciminera’s Pizza in Clifton Heights, Pa. It’s no slight to his family and father Bill, 58, who has put his heart and soul into the business. Luke said his dad watches the Food Network each night in an effort to find ways to make his food better on a daily basis. But that’s not Luke’s mission in life. “My dad told me that when I was in third or fourth grade, I came home one day and said I wanted to be a doctor,” said Ciminera, 21, of
Media, Pa. “I like the idea of helping people and
I have always had a passion for science. I could
have worked at my family’s restaurant but that
would have been taking the easy way out.
Pursuing a career in the medical field means
something to me.”
Ciminera is a senior at the West Chester
University of Pennsylvania majoring in cell
molecular biology and minoring in astronomy.
He plans to take the Medical College Admission
Test (MCAT) in the spring, with the hopes of
getting into medical school after a gap year. He
wants to be a doctor.
That laser-focused attitude and steadfast determination distinguish Ciminera. He
received the Francis C. Poore Caddie of the
Year Award during the J. Wood Platt Caddie
Scholarship Trust’s Annual Brunch Dec. 22 at
Whitemarsh Valley Country Club.
“It is a tremendous honor,” said Ciminera.
“The Platt Scholarship has made a profound
impact on my college experience. Your goal
when you go to college is to come out debt-free. A lot of kids that I go to school with are
worried about whether their checks go through
and how they can pay tuition or rent. The Platt
has taken that burden away from me. I couldn’t
wait to give my speech and offer my gratitude.
My goal for the speech was to hopefully inspire
other caddies and to make a name for the J.
Wood Platt Scholarship.
“I want to be the best. I want to have the
best grades. I was born with a competitiveness
that never leaves you. You have to think when
your eyes are tired at night and you want to
go to bed, there’s always someone who is still
up. On an application board, little things like
that are important. Shake your head, wake up
your eyes and get back to work. I want to be
the best but I want to help people reach their
ultimate potential. If you are not working, I am
going to be working.”
Ciminera is in his sixth season as a caddie at
Aronimink Golf Club. When he first started, he
had a lot to learn. But that shows his desire to
succeed no matter the task or challenge.
“I couldn’t have told you what club to hit
when you were in the fairway,” said Ciminera. “I
knew it started with driver but I couldn’t tell you
the difference between a 4-iron and 9-iron.
I couldn’t have offered advice on short game
shots. I am much more confident now on how
to give advice. Once I was more confident in
my ability to play, the more confident I was in
helping the players I was caddying for.
“When I first showed up, I was intimidated
by the knowledge of the other caddies. Even
the guys my age grew up golfing. My dad
never golfed or took lessons. Now I play
whenever I get the chance. Caddying sparked
my passion for golf.”
Ciminera said the best part of caddying
is the different people you meet. Those
interactions have allowed him to network and
shadow professionals in the medical field.
“Luke is a great kid,” said Tom Foley, 50, of
Phoenixville, Pa, Aronimink’s Caddiemaster
since 1997. “He is hardworking and smart. He
is everything you ask for in a caddie. He never
says no. I wish I had a barn full of kids like him.
His ability to learn separates him. When he
came here, he knew nothing about golf and
he worked hard to understand the game. The
members love him.”
“Luke does such a good job,” said Jeff
Kiddie, 47, of West Chester, Pa., Aronimink’s
Golf Professional of 11 years. “When you
read over his résumé of what he is doing
outside of Aronimink, I think that is what
gives him the nod for the Caddie of the Year.
It’s through the volunteering he does in the
medical community as a pre-med student.
It’s great to see and why he is so deserving
of this honor.”
Ciminera has spent time volunteering for the
Chester County Hospital as well as at the Com-
munity Volunteers of Medicine at West Chester.
Ciminera said most of what he has accomplished thus far, and what he hopes to
accomplish in the near future, correlates to the
financial support and backing he has received
from being a J. Wood Platt Caddie Scholar.
“Without the J. Wood Platt Scholarship, I
would have more loans,” said Ciminera. “For
me, it’s one less thing I have to worry about. As
soon as I have a job and am making money, I
can’t wait to give back to the Platt so I can take
that worry away from other students. It is such
a relief to not have to worry about paying $100
of rent because the Platt has taken care of it
for me. They have had my back for four years,
and I hope I can give back so they can have
someone else’s back.” m
Dalton Balthaser is a 2018 graduate of Temple University
who majored in journalism. From Kutztown, Pa.,
Balthaser is the 6-Month USGA Boatwright intern.
“The Platt Scholarship has made a profound impact on my college xperience.”
BY DALTON BALTHASER