By Lowell Rose / NBC29
Golfers play to benefit charlottesville youth organization
Dozens of people went out for a round of golf on Monday, July 16 in Albemarle County to help benefit kids living in the greater Charlottesville Area as part of the 10th Annual First Tees Invitational Golf Tournament.
The tournament benefits the First Tee of the Virginia Blue Ridge. The youth development organization provides programming and scholarships for kids in the community to learn golf and important life skills. The charity event is simultaneously held at Keswick Golf Club and Farmington Country Club. A total of 44 teams took part in the tournament, aiming to raise between $50,000 and $60,000.
“This is an amazing opportunity for the community to give back to the kids who need it the most,” said board member of The First Tee Virginia Blue Ridge Jonathan Blank. “We serve thousands of kids during the year and with this tournament we can make all that possible.”
According to the executive director of The First Tee Virginia Blue Ridge Jin Ellington most of the money raises goes directly to their programming and supports scholarships coming from the Charlottesville Police Department, Stars Organization, Boys and Girls Club of Southwood, and more.
“We are here to teach youth development,” Ellington said. “We’re here to better help our students be prepared for academic success, for career and social success.” With the help of this tournament, The First Tee Virginia Blue Ridge is able to provide scholarships for kids to participate in programming on the golf course.
“The impacts to the kids in the community are beyond golf,” Blank said. “This is about learning scholarship…integrity…core values that will serve the kids for the rest of their lives.”
Golfers say this tournament is important to them for many reasons. “If we can come together and give that opportunity to these kids, then our whole community, our whole state, our whole county will be better for it,” Blank said. As of this summer, they have reached nearly 5,000 kids so far this year which already surpassed last year’s total.