Meet The Team
In Loving Memory
Bob Silver
Bob Silver was a dedicated volunteer for GRAAF, Rochester Area Community Foundation, Boys and Girls Club and other organizations – he “retired” from his work with GRAAF upon turning 90, but continued to serve as a member of the Board and a trusted advisor until his passing. He worked tiredlessly to raise money for the Rochester NY area athletes.
Mike Ingham
Mike is on the coaching staff of the US Olympic Sailing Team.  He coached the US Paralympic Team to a Silver Medal at the 2016 Rio games.  He was a local Olympic hopeful and GRAAF grant recipient and has been to the Olympic Games as a training partner for the 1992 Silver Medalist.   Mike has a technical and business background. Other nonprofit interests include being a Trustee at .   He has been on the board of GRAAF since 2001.  
Faye Casey
Faye Casey is a retired
corporate executive
with extensive fundraising and corporate social responsibility experience with Getinge USA, the American division of a global healthcare and medical equipment corporation. She has volunteered with GRAAF for over 20 years.
John Kroetz
Johnny is the current Head Coach of the Bristol Mountain Freestyle Ski Team with over 25 years of coaching experience. 5 alumni of his program are on the 2017 US Ski Team, all with their sights on the 2018 Winter Games in Korea. He is a level III USSA Inverted Aerial coach and the 2015 USSA Freestyle Domestic National Coach of the Year.
In addition to coaching Johnny also is a voting member of the USSA Eastern Freestyle Competition Committee and serves on the National Aerial subcommittee.
Bob Balk
Bob Balk sees a definite transfer of skills between sports and business.
“Working together with people on a team toward a common goal is the most
obvious,” he says. “But both also require discipline and dedication to
develop the skills you need to be successful.” He also says that
although some people talk about “natural athletes,” athletes at the
highest level work extremely hard to complement their “natural” talent.
“Life requires hard work and you usually reap what you sow”.

Iris Zimmermann
Iris is best known for setting records in the sport of fencing. Not only was she was the first US fencer to win a world championship medal, she was also the youngest ever to win that medal and the youngest to win a national championship. Throughout her career, she received grants from GRAAF that made it possible for her to achieve her goals.
In 2000, Iris made the Olympic team with her sister Felicia Zimmermann and together they were two points shy of winning the bronze medal for the United States. After two more runs at the Olympics and graduating from Stanford University and Simon Business School, Iris is now a co-owner (since 2009) and fencing coach at the Rochester Fencing Club.
Carla Melville
Marketing-Tech Support
Carla is a SUNY Geneseo graduate, retired from public service where she was involved in public relations, special projects and events coordination, EEO, quality, and emergency management.  
Has Volunteer in her community for over 30 years including with Boy Scouts of America, USATF Niagara Association, Our School, Pieters Family Life Center, United Way of Greater Rochester, and St. John Fisher College.




  • $340,000+ Total Dollars Awarded
  • 77 Athletes Assisted
  • 14 Became Olympians
  • 100% of Your Donation Goes Toward Athlete Grants
  • 32 Years Serving & Supporting Amateur Athletes

GRAAF is a 501C3 nonprofit that gives grants to amateur Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls in the greater Rochester, NY area.

We believe everyone who is willing to devote their lives to become a
national hero deserves a chance to compete at the highest levels.

If you are inspired by our vision we encourage you to take action today.
Donate and/or sign up to join our list of volunteers. Together we can
support the childhood hero of the future.
Amateur athletes need your help to have a chance at gold.

Chasing an Olympic dream costs a great deal of time, but also a great
deal of money. Coaches, travel, lodging, equipment, trainers, and other
expenses add up fast and in the United States hopeful athletes have to
pay for their own expenses which can be $20k per year for 4-5 years.

 100% of your donations go to support the Athletes.