$4.3 Million In USGA Funding To Communities In 2004

November 10, 2004
E-mail address: mediarelations@usga.org 

Colorado Spring, Colo. -- The United States Golf Association (USGA) has announced 30 new grants totaling $632,600 to non-profit organizations across the country to support accessible and affordable golf programs and facilities. These new funding decisions bring the USGA's total giving in 2004 to $4.3 million.

More than 150,000 kids and individuals with disabilities will learn to play the game this year as a part of the USGA's effort to bring golf to non-traditional audiences and also grow the game.

The USGA funding - part of the USGA's $65 million grants initiative - will support golf instruction, equipment, access costs and course construction and to make golf more accessible and affordable for those individuals who might not have the opportunity to play.

"The USGA is proud to support community based programs and partnerships dedicated to using golf as a vehicle to bring communities together and enhance lives," said USGA President Fred Ridley. "Whether in the inner city of Chicago or outlying rural communities in the Dakotas, kids face significant distractions and choices --- we feel golf can be a positive motivator to counteract these challenges."   

One of the 30 grant recipients is the YMCA of Rapid City (YRC), which received  a one-year $20,000 grant award. The YMCA began offering new programs to community members when it took over the operation and management of local La Croix Links Golf Course in January 2004. The nine-hole, par-3 course was on the verge of closing due to increased maintenance costs that the city could no longer fund. That's when board members from the city and YMCA met to discuss turning over the course to the YMCA.

"The YMCA LaCroix Links scenario is a great example of what happens when public and not-for-profit partnerships are formed-precious resources are leveraged together and the community wins," said Roger Gallimore, Executive Director of the YMCA of Rapid City.

In its first season of operation as a YMCA-owned facility, the course was frequented by juniors and seniors alike. The new program aimed to reach 40 YMCA youth members in the spring of 2004, but enrollment doubled that.  Now, the YMCA plans to introduce additional programming for 90 at-risk kids who frequent three Youth Outreach Centers. USGA funding will support instruction, golf course access and transportation for participants in the Youth Outreach Program.

A YMCA board member led a campaign to purchase 36 new sets of junior golf clubs, and a local department store has also agreed to subsidize the cost of memberships for 10 participants in the Youth Outreach Program.

"Whenever you tie kids and golf together, it's a win-win situation," said Bill Waugh, city council member. "You're not only teaching the game of golf, you're teaching important values such as honesty and integrity." 

A sampling of other community based programs and projects that received recent USGA grant awards across the country include:

Portland Youth Golf Association (Portland, Ore.)
A $100,000 USGA grant will support the construction of the Youth Development and Family Golf Center at Heron Lakes Golf Course. This facility will include a practice area, three-hole short course, and learning center, and enhance programming for the organization.  Approximately 1,500 youths will use the facility on an annual basis. USGA funds will be used for green construction on the practice area and short course. Beyond golf instruction, Robert Clark, executive director of PYGA promotes four principles: education, sportsmanship, integrity, and respect for others. Since 1997, PYGA has received multiple USGA grants totaling $116,000 to support programming expenses.

Toledo Minority Golf Association (Toledo, Ohio)
This $5,000 USGA grant will allow for the continued expansion of Toledo Minority Golf Association's (TMGA) junior golf program. Specifically, USGA funds will support instruction, course and driving range access, and the purchase of clubs and bags. Toledo Minority Golf Association was founded in support of the growth and development of minority kids during a time when the founder, Charles Cohen, saw increasing homicide rates, drug use, teen pregnancy and an absence of educational and employment opportunities for minorities in Toledo. Approximately 80 kids participate in the year-round programming sessions and some are invited to play in the national invitational tournament each August. In addition to this grant, TMGA received a USGA grant for $7,500 in 1998.

A complete list of programs receiving funding across the country includes:

 

Organization Name  City, State  Grant Amount 
On Even Par Holt, Ala. $11,500
Right Start Junior Golf Academy Montgomery, Ala. $8,000
Boys and Girls Club of Alachua Gainesville, Fla. $2,500
Smart School Inc. Lauderhill, Fla. $45,000
City of St. Petersburg St. Petersburg, Fla. $10,000
North Florida Section PGA Tampa, Fla. $20,000
Project One Junior Golf Academy, Inc. Atlanta , Ga. $10,500
Basin School District 72 Idaho City, Idaho $4,000
The First Tee of Chicago Foundation Chicago, Ill. $15,000
South Suburban Home School & Gym Group Chicago Heights, Ill. $7,500
Gateway Junior Golf Association Edwardsville, Ill. $40,000
Positive Swing Inc. Southport, Ind. $5,000
Buddie's Buddies Mission, Kan. $5,600
Community YMCA of Danvers, Inc. Danvers, Mass. $3,500
Maryland National Capital Parks & Planning Commission Riverdale, Md. $6,000
The First Tee of Michigan Foundation Huntington Woods, Mich. $100,000
Life Skills FORE Montana Youth, Inc. Billings, Mont. $14,500
John 's Golf Course, Inc. Eureka, Mont. $10,000
Atlantic City LPG Benefit Association Northfield, N.J. $30,000
Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association Las Vegas, Nev. $25,000
Toledo Minority Golf Association Toledo, Ohio $5,000
Southern Hills Country Club Foundation Tulsa, Okla. $17,500
Portland Youth Golf Association Portland, Ore. $100,000
YMCA of Rapid City Rapid City, S.D. $20,000
Greater Austin First Tee Austin, Texas $50,000
Youth Sports Council of Fort Worth Fort Worth, Texas $20,000
San Antonio Golf Association San Antonio, Texas $15,000
Green Bay Community Foundation De Pere, Wis. $20,000
Atwood Community Center, Inc. Madison, Wis. $2,500
Elsie Whitlow Stokes School Washington, D.C. $9,000


USGA Grants Initiative: A Capsule History
The USGA works to make the game of golf affordable and accessible. Since 1997, it has awarded more than $43 million as part of its ongoing annual grants initiative to provide financial support and assistance to deserving golf programs. The USGA Executive Committee has committed $65 million in USGA support through the end of the decade. The grants initiative traditionally focuses on programming for economically disadvantaged youth and individuals with disabilities. Beyond its Grants Initiative, the USGA partners with national organizations to promote affordable and accessible facility development, course access, girls' golf and initiatives for individuals with disabilities.

For more information on the USGA Grants Initiative, contact the Grants office at (719) 471-4810 or visit the Grants Section of the USGA Web site at www.usga.org.
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