GREENVILLE, SC – The First Tee of Greenville and The First Tee of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties announced today that the organizations are joining forces to form The First Tee of the Upstate, to better serve area youth. The First Tee of the Upstate, whose mission it is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf, will begin its new season of programming on March 20th with 8 area golf course locations conducting 31 classes, spanning Spartanburg, Greenville and Cherokee counties.
The combination of the chapters into The First Tee of the Upstate is nearly 12 months in the making, and will now combine The First Tee of Spartanburg’s national award-winning programming with The First Tee of Greenville. The First Tee of the Upstate will utilize a combination of out-of-school and in-school programs to help shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by reinforcing values like integrity, respect and perseverance through the game of golf. In fact, The First Tee’s National Schools Program, whereby physical education teachers introduce golf and life skills to elementary students as part of their annual curricula, is now available in 93 of 109 schools in Cherokee, Greenville and Spartanburg counties. Complementing the National Schools Program, The First Tee of the Upstate has established partnerships with the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, STEM Program, Greenville Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Greenville YMCA and Small Impressions Child Development Center to maximize the program’s reach to area youth.
“The Upstate of South Carolina continues to be one of the fastest growing regions in the country, and as our area continues its population growth, we made the strategic decision that by merging both of our organizations’ resources we are better positioned to serve the youth of the Upstate now and in the future,” said Ron Rasmussen, Board President of The First Tee of the Upstate. “We are thankful to the wonderful board members, programming coordinators, coaches, mentors and volunteers that have made The First Tee chapters in the Upstate a success for a long time. Their contributions have helped get us to this point. We look forward to continuing that legacy by building a staff that can help take The First Tee of the Upstate to the next level.”
“While we remain focused on serving children in Spartanburg, Greenville and Cherokee counties at the outset, we do believe that the consolidation of resources will afford us an opportunity to serve additional Upstate communities in the future,” said Todd Whitehead, Board Vice President. “We look forward to being able to instill the values of respect, integrity, and honesty through the game of golf to more Upstate youth than ever before.”
The First Tee of the Upstate’s Spring programming will take place at Woodfin Ridge, Willow Creek Golf Club and Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg County; Cherokee National Golf & Recreation Club in Cherokee County; and Carolina Golf Club at Botany Woods, Legacy Pines Golf Club, Carolina Springs Golf Club and Green Valley Country Club in Greenville County. Those interested in enrolling their children in programming at one of these 8 locations can visit www.firstteeupstate.org and click the REGISTER button on the top right of the page.
As The First Tee of the Upstate completes its consolidation efforts and expands its reach, building its roster of volunteers is a key priority. Anyone interested in volunteering with The First Tee of the Upstate should visit www.firstteeupstate.org for more information.
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About The First Tee of the Upstate
The First Tee of the Upstate is a nonprofit organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people in Cherokee, Greenville and Spartanburg counties by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Offering programs specifically designed for young people ages 6 to 18, the organization touches the lives of nearly 50,000 Upstate area youth each year. For more information, visit www.firstteeupstate.org.