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Golf-a-thon a "Labor of Love" for Calamaro

Nine hours, forty minutes. That’s how long it took Jacqueline Calamaro of Newtown Square, Pa., to play 102 holes of golf at Walnut Lane Golf Course.

Jacqueline has a long history of community service, but when she took on her senior project – a requirement in the state of Pennsylvania – Jacqueline went above and beyond to help The First Tee of Philadelphia.

A talented golfer and three-year captain of her high school golf team, Jacqueline used her senior project to combine two of her passions in life - golf and volunteerism.

In April, Jacqueline organized a Golf-a-thon at Walnut Lane Golf Course in Philadelphia in which she and Radnor High School teammate Jin Hwang committed to play 100 holes in a day. They took pledges and donations for each hole played, and after many miles walked were able to give The First Tee of Philadelphia more than $7,400 for building a new practice facility.

It is because of her dedication to service, sportsmanship and leadership that Jacqueline is being honored with the 2010 Presidents’ Leadership Award. This award recognizes one boy and one girl junior golfer who demonstrated leadership, character and community service through their involvement with Leadership Links. The program is a joint initiative founded in 2010 by the United States Golf Association and the American Junior Golf Association to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism and charitable giving. Jacqueline joins fellow golfer Drew Johnson of Oak Ridge, N.C., as recipients for their selfless efforts in their communities.   

Calamaro and Johnson will be honored by USGA President Jim Hyler and AJGA Board of Directors President Gayle Champagne during the Rolex Dinner of Champions July 1 at the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson, Ark. Additionally, they will each receive four tickets to a U.S. Open of their choice, access to the USGA hospitality tent during the U.S. Open, and an automatic entry into the 2010 Rolex Tournament of Champions – the most prestigious junior golf stroke play event in the country.

“It’s such an honor to receive this award,” Jacqueline said. “Even though it started out as a required project, the Golf-a-thon became a labor of love. It’s probably better than any golf accomplishment I could have ever achieved.“

While just under 10 hours were actually spent on the golf course, Jacqueline spent nearly 100 hours organizing the event. With the help of Hwang and Radnor High School Golf Coach Andy Achenbach, Jacqueline passed out fliers, alerted media outlets, and used the contacts she had made through the Pennsylvania Women’s Golf Association and Women’s Golf Association of Philadelphia to spread the word of the Golf-a-thon.

“I set a goal of $10,000,” Jacqueline explained. “I knew this would be a stretch, but The First Tee of Philadelphia is a worthy cause.”

When the day of the big event rolled around, playing the golf was the easy part. While Jacqueline said she had never played more than 45 holes in a day, she executed 102 on April 10, 2010.

Due to the success of the Golf-a-thon, it has now become the suggested senior project for all future Radnor High School golf team captains, meaning Jacqueline’s original goal could be met and surpassed in the coming years.

But more importantly, Jacqueline says, “Those of us who have been blessed through the game of golf will have the opportunity to give back in a meaningful way that impacts the lives of young people.”

For more information on the Presidents’ Leadership Award, please contact Ashley O'Dell (aodell@ajga.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (770) 868-4200.


Read the stories of Drew Johnson and the honorable mentions.