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Donors Support The First Tee’s Campaign to Reach 10 Million Young People with Character-Building Programs Through Golf

October 8, 2012

 PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – – Individuals, corporations and foundations have provided $106.2 million in gifts and pledges in support of The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People, it was announced today by the Campaign’s co-chairs, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, who chairs The First Tee Board, and Jim McGlothlin, chairman and chief executive officer of The United Company. While the goal to reach $100 million has been achieved, the Campaign will remain open through December of this year.

“Golf has a long history of giving back and I am proud of the work accomplished through this Campaign, which continues that tradition,” said Finchem, who with McGlothlin made the announcement at a special event for Trustees and supporters of the Campaign at Pebble Beach Golf Resort. “The First Tee plays an important role in golf and in society as a whole, and I am grateful for those who have come together to support the organization. I am especially appreciative of Jim McGlothlin, from whom the idea came and who has spent incredible time, energy and resources bringing the Campaign to this point.”

A live, one-hour special hosted by Rich Lerner will air tonight on Golf Channel at 9 p.m. ET. The special will include live interviews from Pebble Beach with President George W. Bush, who is The First Tee’s honorary chair, and World Golf Hall of Fame member and The First Tee Trustee Arnold Palmer. It will also include an interview with an alumnus of The First Tee and a current participant.

Launched in July 2011 at the Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People is a comprehensive fundraising effort that will continue through the end of this year. It will allow The First Tee’s programs to positively influence 10 million additional young people between 2011 and 2017.

“I feel as strongly about the efforts of this Campaign as I did in July 2011 when we announced it,” said McGlothlin. “Golf continues to positively impact lives and nowhere is this more evident than through the work of The First Tee. Thank you to all the donors who have united for this purpose.”

“An extraordinary commitment is being made by many to support the work of The First Tee at chapters and schools, and the investment will greatly enhance our ability to positively impact millions more young people,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive of The First Tee.

The funds raised through The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People will support the following:

  • A Chapter Matching Grant Program, made possible by The First Tee Legacy Partner Johnson & Johnson, is creating the opportunity for chapters to stretch donor gifts now through 2015 up to $10 million.
  • $10 million has been designated to select chapters of The First Tee across the country by Campaign donors
  • $15 million has been designated to initiatives within The First Tee including training and continuing education, leadership events and opportunities for participants, expansion of the National School Program, curriculum enhancements and research.
  • Remaining Campaign dollars will be invested in a strategic fund, allowing ongoing support of key initiatives including grants to chapters to reach teens, females, diverse and “at risk” youth. 

From 1997 through 2011, The First Tee reached more than 6.5 million young people through its network which includes 194 chapters offering programs at more than 700 golf facilities, 4,800 elementary schools and 120 U.S. military installations. Through 2017, The First Tee’s goal is to reach 10 million additional young people and grow the network to 1,200 programming locations at golf facilities, 10,000 elementary schools and 350 other youth-serving locations.

At The First Tee chapters, trained coaches deliver lessons for life as part of the basic instruction, helping young people learn valuable skills and how to apply and transfer the lessons to everyday life. Life skills taught include managing emotions, decision-making, setting goals and appreciating diversity.

The First Tee National School Program, which is delivered by trained physical educators during regularly-scheduled P.E. classes, seamlessly introduces students to the game of golf, The First Tee Nine Core Values and The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits. Through the lessons, students learn basic golf motor skills alongside values like responsibility, judgment and perseverance, while being introduced to a lifelong sport.

“With one in four high school students dropping out of public schools and one in three children overweight or obese, there is little doubt young people today face challenges,” Barrow said. “I am proud of the work taking place at The First Tee chapters, elementary schools and military installations, and trust the time-honored life skills and values learned through The First Tee remain essential in preparing young people for the future: in school, in their chosen career and in life.”

For more information on The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People, visit www.thefirsttee.org/campaign. For more on The First Tee network, programs and locations, visit www.thefirsttee.org.

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