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Officials celebrate opening of The First Tee Miami Family Learning Center

From left to right: Butch Buchholz, World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship Tournament Chairman; Steve Haener, National Sales & Promotion Manager, Cadillac; Raquel Regalado, Miami-Dade County School Board; Tomas Regalado, City of Miami Mayor; Mike Fernandez, Constructional Design; Charlie Delucca, Jr. (with large scissors), First Tee Miami President/Executive Director; Charlie Delucca, III, First Tee Miami, Executive Director; Samantha Delucca, First Tee Miami Participant; Wifredo Gort, Miami City Commissioner; David Pillsbury (behind Gort), President of Championship Management, PGA TOUR; Max Alvarez, First Tee Trustee; Francis Suarez, Miami City Commissioner; Mike Cooper, First Tee Southeast Regional Director; Patricio De Torres, First Tee Miami Board Member

January 28, 2013

MIAMI – Charlie DeLucca Jr. and his son, Charlie DeLucca III, executive directors of The First Tee Miami-Dade Amateur Golf Association; the City of Miami; and the Executive Board of The First Tee Miami hosted an official ribbon-cutting ceremony to announce the grand opening of The First Tee Miami-Family Learning Center, located within The International Links Miami - Melreese Country Club. The celebration included City of Miami officials, representatives from the PGA TOUR and the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, and representation from other local, regional and national companies.

At a cost of nearly $2 million, the learning center boasts 5,500 square feet of educational and tutorial space and state-of-the-art golf teaching and practice facilities. The building, a direct result of city officials and the sporting authority board working together to find common ground, will greatly serve the youth of the entire Miami and South Florida community. The learning center will serve as the new home to The First Tee Miami and will feature large assembly and classroom areas, all equipped with computers, printers and a Promethean Board to aid in completing homework.

“This new facility is another example as to how the DeLucca family and the City of Miami not only operate a first-class golf course, but also a place for the children to become first-class citizens through golf, civic training and discipline,” said City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

The First Tee Miami will be launching its after-school program in the new state-of-the-art Learning Center, in alliance with Grasp Learning. In addition to immersion in The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience, children will receive support in three areas: homework assistance; study skills development; and digital literacy. The First Tee will also work with Grasp to identify students who need assistance preparing for standardized tests or who could benefit from foundational reading skills reinforcement.

“Thanks to Mayor Tomas Regalado, all of the city and county officials, the Miami Sports and Exhibition Authority and to former Commissioner Angel Gonzalez who was at the forefront of this project, for making our dream a reality. With their help, assistance from the private sector, Cadillac and the help of the World Golf Championship-Cadillac Championship, we are excited to officially open this new home of the First Tee of Miami,” said Charlie Delucca, Jr. “This facility will deliver the First Tee core values and with help of our new partnership with Grasp the youth in our area will receive vital academic and life coaching that will help them become better community citizens.”

The facility will continue to aid approximately 4,500 children annually, while providing after-school educational, tutoring and mentoring programs. These programs build character and instill life-enhancing values to promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The nine core values of The First Tee are Honesty, Responsibility, Courtesy, Judgment, Respect, Perseverance, Integrity, Confidence and Sportsmanship.

“With the values, lessons and coaching that area youth will receive at this new learning center, we will see to it that the youth progress through school and life and not only gain admission into college, but do so with the skills and confidence to drastically improve their future,” said Charlie Delucca, III. “Youth in our program will learn core values and life skills through the game of golf and the First Tee program, academic coaching from Grasp, nutrition and fitness skills from our resident expert Craig Lee and will find a place here that is welcoming, encouraging and makes them feel positive about their future.”

"The 2012 Cadillac Championship raised $775,000 for charity and since moving to Trump Doral and has generated more than $600,000 directly benefitting the First Tee of Miami,” said Cadillac National Sales Promotion Manager Steve Haener. “All of those numbers and figures are great, but it really hits home for our Cadillac team to see this great facility, meet and interact with the kids who are participating in this program and hear the dedication and excitement from the staff.”

As part Rory McIlroy’s “6 Bags Project,” the current No. 1 player in the world will carry a special golf bag the week of the Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral that showcases The First Tee Miami logo. McIlroy will sign and auction the bag following the tournament, with proceeds benefiting The First Tee Miami. During tournament week (March 6-10, 2013), fans will have the opportunity to bid on the golf bag here:  www.roryfoundation.com.

“We are so proud to be affiliated with The First Tee Miami,” said Butch Buchholz, tournament chairman of the Cadillac Championship.  “We give our thanks to the Delucca family, Mayor Regalado and everyone who came together to make this day happen.  It is moments like this, spending time with The First Tee participants who will benefit from this great facility, that made me jump back into the sports business community and take my new role with the Cadillac Championship without thinking twice. We look forward to being able to provide more for programs like The First Tee as we grow interest and attendance at our event.”

The World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship at Trump Doral on March 6-10 will host a collection of the best golfers from across the globe in one of the strongest fields of the year. The TRUMP HOTEL COLLECTION™ purchased Miami's iconic Doral Golf Resort & Spa in June 2012 and will be facilitating a $200 million renovation to restore Doral to its former grandeur. Trump Doral has been host of the PGA TOUR for more than 50 years. Fans are reminded that each year, youth 18 and younger are admitted free of charge to the Cadillac Championship when accompanied by a ticketed adult.   For more ticket and tournament information, visit www.worldgolfchampionships.com or call 888-401-8000.

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