State Legislature Honors NCGA Foundation
The often fractious California state legislature has agreed – the efforts of the Northern California Golf Association Foundation are exemplary.
The NCGA Foundation was honored on the Senate floor by a concurrent resolution from the legislature of the State of California for its work encouraging and developing core values in kids through golf. The Foundation invested more than $1,000,000 in deserving youth in 2009. The legislation, California SCR 101, was introduced by State Senator Ron Calderon. (SCR 102, a resolution acknowledging “golf week” throughout the state during the playing of the U.S. Open June 17-20, will be introduced in May).
The resolution cited the Foundation’s work in “supporting a continuum that extends a wholesome success oriented life through scholarships, internships, career opportunities, and a wholesome life,” and acknowledged Foundation efforts that “funded scholarships, grants for youth programs, subsidized 90,000 experiences on driving ranges, and 60,000 rounds of golf for the young people of Northern California.”
As noted in the resolution, the charitable arm of the NCGA hosted nearly 20 clinics last year, increasing its focus on deserving youth in underserved communities through instruction, scholarships and job opportunities. More than 70 clinics, impacting underserved communities, are scheduled for 2010.
“The Foundation is honored to be recognized by the California legislature,” said NCGA Foundation Executive Director Adam Heieck. “We will continue to create and implement programs that impact youth in underserved communities throughout Northern California.”
Heieck, NCGA CEO Lyn Nelson and five kids from Friendship Baptist Church in Seaside, beneficiaries of eight Foundation clinics in 2009, were honored at a ceremony at the state capitol in Sacramento Thursday, April 22. The kids met with Senator Calderon in his office and later with acting Lt. Governor Mona Pasquil in the governor’s office – it was Pasquil’s final day as acting Lt. Governor. CJ Garrett, one of the five kids representing Seaside Baptist Church, spoke on the Senate floor at the capitol regarding the significance of the Foundation’s Youth on Course program and access it provides to golf. CJ’s speech:
My name is CJ Garrett. I am here today to discuss how Youth on Course has changed my life! Youth on Course has taught me to be a calm and patient person. The program has taught me to stay focused on the golf course and off the golf course. It has also taught me to always try my best and never give up. Thank you for supporting Youth on Course!
Friendship Baptist Church’s youth attended clinics throughout 2009. The original series of lessons were guided by Pebble Beach Golf Academy Director Laird Small and his staff at Spyglass Hill, leading to the kids playing a round at Pebble Beach’s Peter Hay Golf Course. Later, the group attended at clinic at Poppy Hills with the San Jose State University golf team and head coach John Kennaday.
The clinics were part of a Foundation initiative to leave clinic participants with messages and ideas that should improve their everyday lives at school and home. Developing golf skills while honing important character traits inherent in the game were the focus of the clinics hosted in 2009, including one lead by NBC Sports personality and Foundation Honorary Board Member Roger Maltbie, as well as the golf teams from Stanford and Santa Clara Universities.
Youth development is the Foundation’s focus, with golf serving as the vehicle to teach life skills and core values. The Youth on Course program, which partners with more than 115 facilities across the region, allows certified kids to play golf for as low as $2. The pioneering program was the first of its kind to make a connection between clinics for beginners and developing full-fledged golfers. The program has since been replicated by other golf organizations throughout the country.