The First Tee of Central Florida gathered 21 golfers at the Golden Bear Club at Keene’s Pointe for a marathon day of golf May 22, raising $35,000 along the way for the non-profit program’s local initiatives.
The golfers — a mix of First Tee supporters, staff and board members — played 36 holes that day for a good cause, after spending a few weeks soliciting pledges for the event. Thomas Lawrence, the executive director for The First Tee of Central Florida, said the event was a win.
“It was successful — we increased what we (raised) over the year before,” Lawrence said. “I think we’re in a good spot.”
Funds from the marathon will be used to help with subsidizing participation fees for the program, which strives to adhere to a policy that no child be turned away for inability to pay. The money also helps train coaches and provide supplies, as well as fund the program’s outreach efforts.
The First Tee operates locally out of MetroWest Golf Club and Stoneybrook West Golf Club in Winter Garden, where the programs served more than 460 youth this past year.
One of its calling cards is the program’s efforts to grow the game with youth who would not ordinarily pursue golf for a variety of socioeconomic reasons.
“I think what really makes us unique is that we work with kids from a variety of different backgrounds,” Lawrence said.
Lawrence also champions The First Tee’s emphasis on its life-skills program, which pairs with its effort to grow the game.
The next fundraiser for The First Tee will be its Swing for the King, scheduled to take place in early October. That event raises money for The First Tee’s Arnold Palmer Scholarship.
For more information about The First Tee and how to participate, get involved or donate, visit thefirstteecfl.org.
Contact Steven Ryzewski at [email protected].