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‘Perfectly’ fun day for kids at the Farmers Insurance Open

January 23, 2014

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

                                                                                        photos by: Stan Badz/PGA TOUR

SAN DIEGO- There’s a certain risk-reward dilemma to having perfect attendance in school. Sure, you reap the due praise from staff and teachers. Grades are likely to improve, too. But, such behavior may be seen as threatening to other, more flighty students. Therefore, to them, you may be  – gulp – a nerd.

But Wednesday at the Farmers Insurance Open, if you were a Doris Miller Elementary student with perfect attendance, you weren’t a nerd. You were a mad scientist, a golfer, cookie decorator and supporter of military troops. The special afternoon was made possible by Farmers Insurance and the PGA TOUR Wives Association.

In addition to Doris Miller Elementary students, a school which benefits from the “Blessings in a Backpack” program, “Pro Kids” (First Tee of San Diego) members were also in on the action.

Six stations on the second floor of the skybox overlooking the 18th hole of Torrey Pines’ 18th hole was the pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. At each station, kids enjoyed the opportunity to have their face decorated, design cookies, partake in off-the-wall science activity, putt, pose for outrageous photos and craft cards to be sent to members of the military.

“Today is an opportunity to partner with the PGA TOUR and the wives to connect and support community youth, said Annette Thompson, Farmers Chief Learning Officer. “Learning is very important at Farmers. We want to help our customers be smarter about their insurance needs. Education doesn’t stop with just our customers and agents. It extends into things like this, where we’re pushing education through with our community events like this with local kids and organizations.”

“We get to entertain and spoil these kids, moving them through the different stations,” said Anastassia Steele, wife of PGA TOUR member Brendan. “They get to have a little fun as a reward for their good behavior and perfect attendance record.”

“Today’s event with the PGA TOUR Wives Association is really an extension of giving back to the community,” said Stacy Hoffman, wife of PGA TOUR member Charley Hoffman. “It’s a busy week for Charley and I, but we love it. It’s great to see these kids have the chance to run around and realize there is a payoff for hard work.”

Blessings in a Backpack is a non-profit organization which provides meals to school kids facing the reality of going hungry over the weekend, when free lunches through the Reduced Meal Program during the week aren’t available. 

“The Blessings in a Backpack program is one very close to the TOUR wives, and is one I haven’t yet had a chance to be a part of,” said Amy Mickelson, wife of World Golf Hall of Fame Member, Phil Mickelson. “I’ve been wanting to be part of one of these events, but we just haven’t been in the town at the right time. So, I was so excited to get to be here and learn more of what this is about. I really believe they are on to a working model with the ‘Blessings in a Backpack’ program.”

On Wednesday, nearly 70 kids felt that impact. Feeling the impact today - the impact of staying in school, staying the course paves the way for these kids to later in life be making an impact of their own.

“I think what they are learning from this program is that attendance is up, grades are up. Kids are coming back on Monday ready to go,” added Mickelson. “So, the full impact is there. It’s been in place long enough for them to see the true impact it’s making.”

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