First Tee – Treasure Coast was founded in the summer of 2012 and has grown each year since inception. We are one of over 140 chapters throughout the world and one of 15 chapters in the state of Florida. Programs are typically taught by PGA and LPGA certified instructors trained by First Tee. The chapter offers the opportunity for all students to learn the Nine Core Values of the First Tee program. Typically, we schedule a series of 9, once weekly sessions, with a school or youth development organization. Sessions are 1 to 1.5 hours each week. We also offer Saturday and weekday evening classes. Each session includes our life skills program encompassed into golf instruction. Our Nine Core Values are Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment.
We currently conduct programming in partnership with many youth development organizations including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Pace Center for Girls, Banner Lake Community Center, Samaritan House, and the East Stuart Community Center. Each year over 650 students participate in our Life Skills program. The First Tee School Program is being implemented at thirteen Treasure Coast elementary schools for over 6,000 students. We offer after school, Saturday and summer camp programs throughout St. Lucie and Martin Counties.
The creation of First Tee – Treasure Coast has been made possible by the contributions of a remarkable family to American business and philanthropy. Roy A Hunt worked his way up in the early 1900’s from a mill clerk to Chairman and President of Alcoa Aluminum, the company founded by his father Alfred in 1888. The Roy A Hunt Foundation traces its roots to 1951, when Roy and his wife Rachel, established a family foundation in Pittsburgh, PA to support organizations that strive to improve the quality of life. In 1996, the Foundation set up three special initiatives one being youth development. Today, the Foundation includes three generations of Hunt family members who live all over the country and meet twice a year to make grants to worthy non-profit organizations.
Andrew Hunt, a Treasure Coast resident, and former Chairman of the Roy A Hunt Foundation’s Youth Development Initiative has sponsored several grants to many youth development organizations including Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters. In May 2012, Andrew attended a private breakfast meeting at The Breakers Hotel with President George W. Bush, The Honorary Chairman of First Tee and consequently accepted the invitation to become a Trustee. Andrew subsequently became President of the Chapter and is an Executive Committee member of the governing board of the Children’s Golf Foundation, Inc (CGF). In keeping with the mission of CGF, the chapter also provides weekly programs for students with special needs and veterans.
As an advocate for youth development and as an avid golfer since childhood, Andrew looked for ways to connect youth with golf. “It was an easy decision to engage First Tee to help develop the youth of the Treasure Coast into our future leaders and successful members of society,” said Andrew. “First Tee offers a lot more than learning how to play golf, as character building, core values and healthy habits are essential elements of the program.” Andrew and The Hunt Foundation remain generous supporters of our chapter and subsequently, they serve the youth of Martin and St. Lucie Counties.
Our high school participants are continuing to participate in national First Tee participant opportunities such as chapter tournament opportunities, college scholarships, Honda Classic Junior Course Reporters. In recent years, our chapter has been represented at the Joe Louis Barrow Jr. Life Skills & Leadership Academy, IJGA Training Camp, First Tee PURE Insurance Open at Pebble Beach, and the Perfect Sense Unified Challenge.
At an event supporting our chapter at The Bear’s Club, Jack Nicklaus, also a Trustee of First Tee, spent time meeting Andrew and welcoming him as a new Trustee. Bringing new Trustees to The First Tee is a very important endeavor as we seek to raise funds that will expand the reach of our character education and life skills programs to help young people prepare for success in high school, college and life.