The First Tee of Sarasota/Manatee(FTSM)– an organization founded in 2002 with the primary goal of impacting the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf- announcedit has received a $9,494 gift from the North Members of the Southwest Chapter. The announcement was made at the FTSM Chapter’s awards ceremony at Laurel Oak Country Club, Sarasota’s premier private club.

Through the Southwest Chapter’s Golf Day campaign, the charitable total was raised directly by the hands of PGA Professionals in the Sarasota/Manatee community. “PGA Professionals have a particular affinity for helping children,” states Lakewood Ranch Teaching Professional,

Jeff Boudrie, PGA. “All of us had mentors in our lives who not only taught us golf but also taught us valuable life in how to be good human beings.”

FTSM Executive Director, Lexi McKenney said, “We are thrilled to have the support of Members in the Southwest Chapter. This is a great golf community and PGA Members are the backbone. Their generous donation will further advance the First Tee and Greater Sarasota Junior Golf Association mission here, especially during these unprecedented times dealing with Covid-19.”

This year’s proceeds are the result of The Oaks Club’s Golf Day event in Osprey that welcomed pledges from over 200 golfers and PGA Professionals alike, pledging $10 for each birdie made by the professional staff. “I am so proud of the club and our staff and am honored to be able to give back to our community through these fundraising efforts,” states Tim Beckwith Professional & Director of Golf at The Oaks.

The PGA of America is a founding member of the First Tee. The Southwest Chapter of the North PGA Section is made up of 214 PGA Professionals and Associates with over 80 facilities. Andy Mears, PGA, is Development Director for FTSM and states, Creating Good Golfers is a key component of First Tee but creating Better People is our mission. Teaming with fellow PGA Professionals for such a worthy cause will keep
the game of golf growing.”

First Tee of Sarasota/Manatee currently serves are youth at its locations and in-school program, as well as /USGA Girls Golf of Sarasota/ Manatee, Greater Sarasota Junior Golf Association, and PGA Jr. League. The First Tee is supported by generous donations from corporate partners, foundation grants, and individual donors. To learn more please visit FirstTeeSarasotaManatee.org.