The First Tee Pine Mountain program hosted an event celebrating 10 years of service to the youth of Kentucky on Tuesday evening.
The program is designed around helping young people understand and ultimately develop nine core values which are honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgement.
“At the First Tee, golf and life lessons are seamlessly incorporated into each experience. The First Tee’s curriculum was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development through sports and is delivered by caring adults (coaches) who have been formally trained by the First Tee,” according to the pamphlet.
Board member, Henry Lawson suggested that the local chapter tell their story and highlight the accomplishments of some of the area youth. The program invited several of the participants, their parents and community leaders to provide a special dinner and award ceremony.
To start the evening, Jerry Shoffner, PGA, recognized the founders of the local chapter. A special recognition was given to John H. Brock and Al Brock for their dedication and vision for the area youth.
Mike Bowling, former state representative was also recognized for helping secure the facilities at Wasioto Winds Golf Course. According to Shoffner, all three gentlemen were presented a framed print for their involvement.
The program then proceeded with Donnie Caldwell, PGA, explaining the various programs of The First Tee and the many opportunities for the participants, both locally and nation-wide.
The First Tee staff recognized several of the participants who were emulating one of “The Nine Core Values”: Honesty/ Jay Phillips (Harlan County) & Emoline Evans (Gateway), Integrity/ Kristin Engle (Barbourville) & Austin Gambrel (Bell County), Sportsmanship/ Kennedy Howard (Stinnett) & Holden North (Gateway), Respect/ Julia Higginbotham (Williamsburg) & Ethan Mason (Bell County) & Clyde Daniels (Harlan County), Confidence/ Morgan Walker (Williamsburg) & Deonte Ferguson (Pineville), Responsibility/ Stacilyn Barnett (Bell County) & Jacob Cornett (Harlan County), Perseverance/ Alexis Thompson (Bell County) & Cole Hinkle (Knox County) & Dalton Brummett (Bell County), Courtesy/ Hannah Wilford (Middlesboro) & Chase Pursiful (Bell County), Judgment/ Sarah Miles (Knox Central) & Garrett Tucker (Cumberland Gap).
The “Participants of the Year” — Michael Wilson (Middlesboro) and Latashia Davis (Whitley County) were also recognized for their 10 years with the program and their successes.
Executive Director of The First Tee Pine Mountain, Jan Gann, closed out the program by highlighting the national school program and the area schools who participated.
Gann also acknowledged the board and the funding partners of The First Tee. Gann also encourages everyone to mark their calendars for next year’s events. The First Tee Parent/Child on June 22 and 23 and The First Tee Strategy Scramble on July 19.
This story was written by Chase Smith. She is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. She can be contacted at email@example.com.