Dear Friends of First Tee – Sandhills:
About this time in 2002, a small group of community advocates from all walks of life were quietly celebrating receiving the piece of mail they’d been anxiously awaiting – a letter from the IRS confirming their application for nonprofit status. The final piece of the puzzle to officially launch the newest chapter of First Tee.
Then, the real work began. In the spring of 2003, the first after school curriculum program was launched; a modest opportunity for area youth to be exposed to the game, mentors and new friendships at an affordable cost.
In that moment, First Tee – Sandhills was born!
Twenty years later through partnerships, community support and passion, First Tee – Sandhills has active programs in 72 Elementary Schools, 11 Outreach and Community Partner Facilities, and 12 Green Grass host facilities. And we’re still growing!
Did you know, there’s a reason your car windshield is so large and the rearview mirror is so small? The past is a reminder of where you’ve been but the future is vast and bright!
Today, shining into our windshield are the stories of Addison, Donovan, Madelyn, David, Tytus and Savannah. Just a few of our First Tee-rs whose stories continue to unfold before our eyes. Let me tell you about just one of them.
Addison, 14, has been an active participant since 2016 and has earned ‘perfect attendance’ for not missing a single season since day one!
Just this month, she attended her first National Opportunity as a representative of First Tee – Sandhills at the Innovators Forum in Jacksonville, Florida.
Leading up to her trip, Addison took a look in her rearview mirror and recalled how her eight years in First Tee have been a story of personal growth and development.
She remembers her early years in First Tee when it was all about the fun, the energy and excitement. She made many new friends and played all kinds of lively golf games. As she has progressed through the program, she has grown up, literally and figuratively, and her experiences have transitioned with her.
Through age appropriate curricula, she’s learned how to establish goals for herself and make plans to achieve them. She’s learned the importance of giving back to her community and is building her own go-to team with family, friends, teachers and mentors to help support her efforts. Whether it’s organizing her first donation drive for the local animal shelter or improving her golf scores to make the high school golf team her freshman year – Addison is learning to set goals and reach them!
While I don’t have space to tell you the personal stories of Addison’s peers, I can tell you I am proud of the opportunities we have offered these kids and teens through First Tee – Sandhills and am extremely gratified by the progress and development they’ve shown during their time with us.
It really is true: today’s progress becomes tomorrow’s opportunity!
With your commitment, we will continue to play a critical role in shaping the futures of young people in the Sandhills – sunglasses on, hands on the wheel and peering through the windshield, always moving forward!
I hope you’ll join us in delivering our mission by contributing to the 2023 Annual Fund Campaign, today!
Together, we are Building Game Changers through golf!
Request a printed Annual Fund Campaign by contacting: Courtney Stiles, Executive Director [email protected] or 910.255.3035