Johnson, Ark. — Drew Johnson of Oak Ridge, N.C., and Jacqueline Calamaro of Newtown Square, Pa., were presented the 2010 Presidents’ Leadership Awards Thursday evening at the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson, Ark.
The award was created to recognize one boy and one girl AJGA member who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the USGA-AJGA Leadership Links program – a joint initiative created to promote volunteerism among junior golfers. The awards were presented by USGA President Jim Hyler and AJGA Board President Gayle Champagne.
The 15-year-old Johnson has volunteered with the Special Olympics for seven years, giving more than 1,000 hours of service to Special Olympic golfers. In addition to coaching players, he organized a fundraising tournament and has raised more than $23,000 for the Greensboro Special Olympics golf team.
“Having accomplished so much at only 15 years of age, it’s clear there are many great things in store for Drew’s future,” Hyler said as he introduced Johnson. “Drew’s commitment and attitude toward volunteer work will hopefully encourage others to volunteer their time in their local community.”
In his acceptance speech, Johnson said: “Just as I’ve had my parents and a lot of people helping me reach my dreams in my life, I feel that I should give back and help my friends in Special Olympics reach their dreams.”
Calamaro, 18, has committed service to many organizations over the years, but she went above and beyond during her senior year of high school to organize a Golf-a-Thon with one of her Radnor High School teammates to raise funds for The First Tee of Philadelphia.
After taking pledges for each hole played in the Golf-a-Thon, $7,400 was initially raised, although additional money has continued to come in, which will assist The First Tee of Philadelphia with the building of a new practice facility. As a young girl, Calamaro participated in the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program in Philadelphia, and the Golf-a-Thon will help other young players as they learn the game.
“She is a cheerleader for the world,” Champagne said as she presented the award to Calamaro. “Her positive spirit drives her and inspires all around her.”
“At first I thought I made a mistake because the time commitment was much greater than I had anticipated,” Calamaro said in her acceptance speech. “But it became a labor of love, especially as I experienced firsthand the generosity of my friends, the golf community in Philadelphia and my hometown. The knowledge that I was contributing to the construction of a brand new practice facility for hundreds of young golfers each week was an even greater energizer.”
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the overall growth and development of young men and women who aspire to earn college golf scholarships through competitive junior golf. The largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and more than 25 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the AJGA’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of AJGA support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Brittany Lincicome.
For more information, please contact Rob Coleman (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (770) 868-4200, or visit the AJGA Web site at ajga.org.