First Tee to host golf tournament to benefit local children

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The coronavirus may have delayed the start of summer programs a bit for First Tee of the Jersey Shore, but the charitable organization’s annual Golf Classic fundraiser is on schedule for Aug. 3 at the Metedeconk National Golf Club in Jackson.

“We are excited to move forward with our 14th annual golf tournament,” Executive Director Tara Kelly said. “We invite the community to join us in raising support to provide affordable golf lessons for children and teens from all backgrounds throughout Ocean and Monmouth counties.”

Like many nonprofit organizations, First Tee is hurting from a loss of revenue because of program cancellations and delays caused by the COVID-19 health crisis, according to a press release.

As a charitable organization, Kelly said, the First Tee is committed to ensuring that all youth have access to its programs.

“We count on the generosity of our community to support our efforts to build character and instill positive core values among area kids and teens through the great game of golf,” Kelly added.

Golfers will enjoy “a day of friendly competition for a great cause,” First Tee Jersey Shore Board Chairman Donald Pignataro said.

Proceeds from the golf outing will specifically fund “Fairways For All,” an initiative to increase and encourage diversity and inclusion of children and families who are under-represented in the sport of golf, Pignataro said.

“These populations are defined as racial and ethnic minorities, females, children with special needs, LBGTQ kids and families, and families facing financial hardships,” he explained.

The fundraising event will support “golferships” for families in need, transportation, as well as program delivery and facility improvements to help fund program growth and specific opportunities for adaptive golfers, according to the press release.

First Tee offers programs during the summer and throughout the year for youths between the ages of 4 and 17 at two main learning facilities: the First Tee Learning Center at Ocean County Park in Lakewood; and the William Larkin Golf Course at Colonial Terrace in Ocean Township.

Due to the coronavirus, programs at other locations and with community partners have been put on hold, according to the press release.

The Golf Classic will open at 8 a.m. for registration, breakfast and practice on the range/putting green with tee times starting at 9 a.m. After a fun day on the greens, golfers will enjoy a lunch/early dinner reception.

For information on participating as a player or sponsor, contact Tara Kelly at 732-300-1130 or [email protected]

For more information, visit firstteejerseyshore.org