December 29, 2009

Junior Golfer Turns Birdies into Donations for the Kids Golf Foundation

This past summer a junior golfer used his talents to help other kids who want to learn the game. Daniel Stringfellow, a high school senior from Roselle with eleven years of golf experience, decided to participate in the American Junior Golf Association’s (AJGA) Playing It Forward program. Through his efforts over $800 was raised to support the Kids Golf Foundation. The Kids Golf Foundation is extremely grateful for Daniel and his contributions. Michael Strong, the Development Coordinator for the Foundation, said “We were privileged to have had Daniel’s support. Through his stewardship the Kids Golf Foundation will be able to support a variety of programs, events, and activities.”

Part of Daniel’s experience with stewardship comes from his involvement in the AJGA. The AJGA is a 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 AJGA’s Playing It Forward enables participants to choose a charity and raise money for the organization based on their golf performance. In its first year, the program had 62 total participants from 20 different states, raising $55,000 for 39 different charities. Playing It Forward was designed by the AJGA as an opportunity for junior golfers to give back to their community while gaining important character building traits. It is also a unique chance to become closer with an organization that positively affects lives.

As a member of the AJGA and its Youth Leadership Club, Daniel thought Playing It Forward would be a good opportunity to give back to others. Daniel said “After working with the Kids Golf Foundation and learning how they bring the game to so many kids, I knew that they would be my charity of choice.” Daniel received pledges for birdies he made in tournaments during the months of June and July. For example, if an individual pledged a dollar they would donate a dollar for every birdie he made in those tournaments. Daniel asked relatives, people on his golf team and patrons from his country club to contribute. Through the process, Daniel found out, “that people are generous and kind.”

When talking about his summer with Playing It Forward, Daniel said “The more I played the more money I raised for charities. It was a win-win situation.” Daniel played nine different tournaments to raise donations for the Foundation. The AJGA looks forward to even more junior golfers participating next June and July and for them to enjoy the benefits of the program.

The Kids Golf Foundation hopes even more Illinois area AJGA members chose to participate and select the Foundation as their designated charity. Interested AJGA members are encouraged to visit the Foundation’s website and download the 2010 Playing It Forward Information Flyer located under “Volunteer Information.” A junior golfer that designates the Kids Golf Foundation as their charity of choice will receive special recognition in the Foundation’s press releases and on our website.

Outside of receiving appreciation, it’s an excellent way to develop a college resume and gain important skills. “College coaches and employers look for diversity and balance in a resume; volunteering and giving back to golf are a great way to illustrate that,” said Holly Alcala, Foundation Director. Looking back on the experience Daniel said, “I was happy to give back. I encourage younger junior golfers to get involved and give to a charity of their choice.”

The Kid Golf Foundation continues to positively impact children through golf programs and remains a junior golf resource year-round to individuals wishing to start a program in their area. For more information about Playing It Forward or to get involved, please contact the Foundation at (630) 466-0913 or visit our website at www.kidsgolffoundation.org, where you can sign up for our online newsletter.

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