Celebrating 15 Years of Impact

Categories: Anniversary, Blog

The First Tee of Canton celebrates 15 years of impact in Stark County, marking an important milestone for the youth development organization.

Since 2002, The First Tee of Canton has impacted nearly 5,000 young people in the community through its life skills education and character training hosted at The First Tee of Canton facility in Canton.  Each of these individuals have been introduced to the lifelong sport of golf while learning skills such as goal setting, managing emotions and resolving conflicts. The program emphasizes Nine Core Values™ (Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgment) at every level of instruction.

“Although I have been golfing since I was a teenager. I never realized the impact the game has on your life until getting involved with The First Tee of Canton,” said Mike Walpole, Board Chair.  “From seeing the younger kids participating in lessons to witnessing the older teenagers grow into respectful, hard-working members of our community. The life skills learned will carry them into their college years and onto the world ahead of them. I am always proud to say I am a part of The First Tee of Canton.”

The chapter’s success has been a result of many individuals, including numerous coaches who have been trained to work with the young people, and hundreds of young people and adults who have donated their time as volunteers over the years.

“Congratulations to The First Tee of Canton on your 15th Anniversary! You have positively impacted the lives of children in Canton, in teaching both golf and the core values of life,” said Thomas Bernabei, Mayor of the City of Canton, “and the golf course you’ve constructed is beautiful! With more renovations to come, I am excited to see what The First Tee will bring in the next 15 years. Thank you for everything that you do for the children of our community and I wish you continued success.”

“The First Tee of Canton is a model for establishing public and private partnerships that contribute to the well-being of the community,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “The First Tee is committed to being a force for good in this society and our programs are proven to have a positive impact on young people. We are proud of the tremendous growth of The First Tee of Canton and look forward to its continued progress over the coming years.”

Since opening, The First Tee of Canton has helped facilitate the launch of The First Tee National School Program at currently 24 elementary schools throughout the community, where students are now engaging in a structured golf curriculum that promotes personal character development within their P.E. classes. In addition, The First Tee DRIVE is offered at nine youth-serving locations.

“Our program wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of our loyal donors and supporters,” states Angela Palomba, Executive Director.  “Their contributions have impacted thousands of young people in our community over the last 15 years.  We look forward to our growth this year and reaching more young people over the next 15 years!”

An independent, longitudinal research study confirmed The First Tee’s ability to teach life skills and Nine Core Values™ to youth participating in the Life Skills Experience, the educational curriculum delivered at The First Tee of Canton. The study confirms young people learn and exhibit these life skills on the golf course, as well as in school, at home and other settings.

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