Gift will support national expansion and The First Tee chapters in PGA TOUR Superstore markets
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla., Jan. 31, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Arthur M. Blank, through The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, will donate $1 million to The First Tee, supporting the youth development organization's goal of reaching 10 million new young people from 2011 to 2017.
The donation will enhance The First Tee's ability to expand its programs to additional locations, including elementary schools and youth organizations, and train more adults as coaches, mentors and leaders in the program.
Mr. Blank will also become part of The First Tee's Trustee program, which includes individuals, corporations and foundations that support the organization's mission.
"My family and our business associates are proud to partner with The First Tee to impact the lives of young people by building character and instilling honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and other life-enhancing values," Blank said. "At the same time, PGA TOUR Superstore is pleased to expand The First Tee's reach in the communities we serve."
Blank is chairman of Golf & Tennis Pro Shop, which owns and operates PGA TOUR Superstore. He also is owner & chairman of the Atlanta Falcons NFL football club. Blank is directing a percentage of the gift to be distributed by PGA TOUR Superstores to The First Tee chapters in markets where the stores are located. PGA TOUR Superstore currently has stores in Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Phoenix, Myrtle Beach, S.C., Naples, Fla. and Delray Beach, Fla. It recently announced plans to open two stores in Chicago this year.
This commitment continues a relationship that began in 1999 with Blank's $25,000 gift to The First Tee of Atlanta. To date, Blank's family foundation and PGA TOUR Superstore have awarded more than $400,000 to The First Tee chapters.
"Mr. Blank's philosophy of engaging his businesses in support of community charities is both admirable and appreciated," said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive of The First Tee. "Each store has a 'captain' who has embraced The First Tee chapter in the market and as a result, young people are benefiting in many ways from the stores' interest."
In addition to the grant funding, PGA TOUR Superstores offer The First Tee chapters access to store resources and activities, including indoor simulators, golf clinics and golf tournaments. The stores will also add visual elements to help build awareness with their customers for the youth development organization's mission.
The First Tee Campaign for 10 Million Young People launched in July 2011. The goal of the Campaign is to raise $100 million by the end of 2012 to enable the organization to reach 10 million new young people by 2017.
To learn more about The First Tee for 10 Million Young People, visit www.thefirsttee.org/campaign.
About The First Tee
The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission 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. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in elementary schools and on military installations.
Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than five million young people in all 50 United States and six international locations. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chairman.
About PGA TOUR Superstore
As the PGA TOUR's exclusive off-course/off-airport retail partner, PGA TOUR Superstore provides customers with access to the same technology and expertise that card-carrying TOUR pros use each week in the TOUR Vans that accompany them. All stores are staffed with teaching professionals and have multiple state-of-the-art swing simulators, practice hitting bays and a putting green. There is also an in-house club making and repair facility. Many stores are equipped with a full-size tennis court and a tennis professional on staff for lessons and clinics. Along with equipment and accessories, PGA TOUR Superstore has an unmatched selection of men's, women's and juniors' apparel and footwear for golf and tennis.
For more information, visit: www2.pgatoursuperstore.com
About The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation
Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to improve the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today. The Foundation invests in early childhood development, education, green space, and the arts and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons. Mr. Blank co-founded The Home Depot, the world's largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001. Through the foundation and his family's personal giving, Mr. Blank has granted more than $250 million to various charitable organizations. Visit the Foundation web site for more information (http://blankfoundation.org/).
SOURCE The First Tee