Zachary Munno of Stamford, Conn., and Lucy Wang of Concord, Mass., were named the 2023 recipients of the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award, the USGA and American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) announced.
The USGA-AJGA Presidents' Leadership Award was created to recognize one male and one female junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program – a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
“Zachary and Lucy demonstrate there is so much more to the game of golf than competing – it teaches you life skills, provides leadership opportunities and is a vehicle for greater good within our communities. Their ability to use golf as a platform to help others and the investment of their voice and time will continue to serve them well in their professional careers. We are inspired by their actions and look forward to witnessing their many successes in years to come,” said USGA President Fred Perpall.
About Zachary Munno
One guiding principle Munno learned at an early age is that it is essential to be a contributing member of his local and global community. This principle inspired Munno to find a way to utilize the sport he loved to give back to others. Combined with his love for golf and eagerness to help others, Munno started his first Cobra PUMA Golf ® State Cup event [KB1] [ST2] with the AJGA. This event, named the Metro Cup, was founded in 2020 by Munno and raises money for The Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich (BGCG), The Bridge Foundation, Metropolitan PGA Junior Foundation and the AJGA's Liberty National ACE Grant Program. Today, the Metro Cup has grown to host two events. From 2020 to 2022 these events, Metro Cup – Bridge and Metro Cup – Stanwich, have raised a total of $240,000 with plans to host again in 2023. The senior at King School has helped the Metro Cup grow over the past four years and hopes to pass down these opportunities in an effort to continue building upon the relationships that have formed through the event.
As an active member of his community, Munno volunteers his time outside of these events as well. He spearheads charitable efforts for his school’s soccer team and mentors younger members of his golf team on and off the golf course.
“It means a lot to me and really proves to myself, my family and friends how much my work has done for other people in the past four years. It shows that the hard work that I have put in, on and off of the course, is affecting other people,” said Munno.
The diligent work done by Munno impacts the future of golf by supporting various organizations, expanding access to golf and supporting the educational and social resources for other kids in his area. He has learned from working alongside The Bridge Foundation and BGCG that the difficult work never stops and knows that there will always be a need in the community. Munno’s dedication to the persistent work needed to support the community around him encourages and inspires others to do the same.
About Lucy Wang
When Wang was just seven years old, she lost her father suddenly. Having to overcome much adversity at such a young age left her searching to find meaning in life. Seeing how she could make an impact through golf gave her the motivation to use her skills to help others. These charitable efforts she began to take part in, provided Wang with a deeper purpose in life.
After learning about donating to the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital on the AJGA’s website, Wang decided to join the AJGA’s Leadership Links program. Through this program, she has helped raise over $10,000 since 2022 for the Nicklaus Children's Hospital and Liberty National ACE Grant. Wang also serves as a youth volunteer and coach for the Greens for Dream organization, which is a golf charity organization supporting Boston Children’s Hospital.
Wang is a leader on and off the golf course, as well as at Middlesex School. She inspires the community around her and goes out of her way to ensure others feel loved and accepted. For Teacher Appreciation Week this year, she gave each teacher a small gift and a handwritten thank-you note, which included over 100 faculty members.
“I feel very honored and grateful to get this award. I have worked [with the AJGA] for two years now and it means a lot as an encouragement to my work,” said Wang.
Wang is also very proud of her heritage and has a strong passion to build community among others through this connection. She organized and hosted an event for Asian Affinity Groups during Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month for two consecutive years, with over 400 students, to help the community better understand the culture.
Wang has found a new meaning in life through others. From family members, friends and even strangers, Wang strives to bring blessings and be a light to people around her.
“Seeing the hard work and level of commitment they have each put into the Leadership Links program is remarkable. Zachary and Lucy share a willingness to put others before themselves and strive to be an inspiration to those around them,” said Beth Dockter, AJGA Director of Youth Development.