8th Annual Par 3 Corp Challenge

Coral Ridge Country Club recently hosted our annual Par 3 Corporate Challenge on their Rees Jones Course. 36-players representing nine local companies helped raise $30,000 to fund our mission and programs. 

This year’s winning team with a score of 4 under par was LaRocca & Associates comprised of Joe LaRocca, Nick LaRocca, Anthony Fasano, and Brady Quinn (pictured above left).

The Presenting Sponsors included Steady Returns, Gunther Motors and AutoNation. The Awards Sponsor was City Furniture, and the Carts Sponsor was Spirit Airlines.

Special thanks to the other teams that competed in this event: Young Consulting Group, Miller Construction and BDO.

Visiting The Moving Wall

Coach Robert Ferzoco and veterans Robert Bartholomew, Tony Spina, and Scott Siegal visited The Moving Wall – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Traveling Half-Size Replica at Sportsplex Park.  This memorial is sponsored by Veterans helping Veterans & Their Families, a 501(c)(19) Veterans Charitable Organization.

This memorial is a traveling half-size replica of the Vietnam memorial in Washington D.C. with over 58,000 names who gave their lives between 1957 and 1975.

The guest speaker, Tom Melville (pictured right) is a veteran who served on the USS Coral Sea CV-43. He spoke of his service and of the 18 men he personally knew and their names are on the wall.

Veteran Spotlight: Ed Fitzmaurice

Ed Fitzmaurice, Marines USMC, has been playing golf for the last 5 years as a part of our veterans’ golf programs.

When talking about his experience in our programs, he said: “A very warm, friendly, and congenial group of both students and instructors. Coach Darrell has had a lot of patience with me. Knowing that, I keep coming back! Truth be told, the classes are therapy for both students and coaches.”

This program is generously sponsored by The Harry T. Mangurian, Jr. Foundation.

Veteran Tom Kruse Scores A Hole In One

Tom Kruse, a 4-year participant in our veterans’ program, scored a hole in one last week at our annual Par 3 Corporate Challenge. He achieved this amazing feat on the 3rd hole of the Rees Jones Par 3 Course at Coral Ridge Country Club.

Tom was volunteering for the day by hitting a shot for each foursome that came through, allowing the foursome to use his shot if it was better than their worst shot.

He achieved his first ever hole in one with the final foursome of the day.

Congrats to Tom! He gives the Coaches at Pompano Beach Golf Course much of the credit for the improvement in his game.

Fun With Boys & Girls Clubs

We just wrapped up a fun-filled programming cycle at the Boys and Girls Club, Jim and Jan Moran Unit in Deerfield Beach.  Over the past 4 weeks, the kids and teens were introduced to the fundamentals of the golf swing, golf course etiquette, and participated in golf games where they collaborated with each other. We are so thankful for the leadership staff at the Boys & Girls Clubs, Moran Unit: Miss Jill Arbogast and Miss Christine Richardson, for making this successful program possible!

Participant Spotlight: Bijan Lombeshkon

Bijan Lombeshkon, age 15, has participated in our programs at Parkland Golf and Country Club and Eagle Trace Golf Club for the last 3 years.

When asked about his time playing golf, Bijan said, “I never thought that golf would be a game for me but now I love it. I have met many interesting people and made great friends. I outgrew the first set of clubs and was so happy to have a replacement set from First Tee that fits me perfectly. Thank you to the generous donors that made all this possible!”

Register Now For Summer Camps

Summer is almost here! Enroll your children in our Broward County programs and of course we offer weekly summer camps at multiple locations.

For more information and to register, please visit our website.

Sponsor Spotlight: The Honda Classic

The Honda Classic, a Founding Partner of our Chapter, brings the world’s best PGA Tour players to South Florida, providing a week of entertainment for the entire community. Chris Kirk won the 2023 tournament, which was his first win on the PGA Tour in eight years. Honda Classic Cares contributes net proceeds from the tournament to South Florida non-profit organizations.  

Thank You Hobe Sound Golf Club

Chapter supporters that are members of Hobe Sound Golf Club joined us for a reception at their club.  They also invited many of their friends from the club to the reception to learn more about our Chapter and our impact thousands of children and veterans in the Treasure Coast.

Executive Director Carl Mistretta Jr. gave a brief overview of our work in the community.  The highlight of the evening was when Director and Coach John Sedwitz brought up the students from Banner Lake Community Center to introduce themselves and to tell the audience what they most liked about First Tee classes. Pizza is always a big hit each week!

Interested in having a reception at your golf club to learn more about First Tee? Please contact [email protected] for more information.

Junior Clinic At US Disabled Open

During the Sunday of the US Disabled Open, Chapter students and coaches conducted a special needs clinic at the driving range and putting green at PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie. Partnering with Els for Autism, we hosted a 4-station clinic for special needs participants. Coach Joe Grohman, PGA led the organization of the event, assigning 6 other coaches and a dozen volunteers to guide the participants. The event was concluded with an intense competition for “The World Putting Championship” where each participant had two chances in front of the crowd of volunteers and parents to putt the ball as close to the hole as possible. After each putt, the contestants were met with roaring applause.