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Jan. 9, 2013

Charitable Giving Award: FJ Invitational and NRP

Local organizers of the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior and FJ Invitational have earned the Charitable Giving Award from the American Junior Golf Association. The Charitable Giving Award is given each year to a tournament or tournament committee that exceeds expectations in fundraising and contribution to grassroots junior golf charities, and in 2012, each tournament made more than $42,000 in charitable contributions.

Each year, the AJGA presents awards to the tournaments with the best individual media coverage, Junior-Am fundraising tournament, volunteer base and hospitality. The AJGA also recognizes the year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and general manager, as well as the most improved event, best new tournament, best Invitational and overall tournament of the year.

The Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior took place at Bellefonte Country Club in Ashland, Ky., June 12-15. As one of the longest running events on the AJGA’s schedule, the Natural Resource Partners Bluegrass Junior has won a number of awards, including the Volunteer Award (2001), Junior-Am Award (2008), Tournament of the Year (2009), and the Charitable Giving Award (2011).

The tournament’s focus on helping promote grassroots junior golf is evident in their 2012 donation of $18,000 to local high school golf teams, $2,000 to the Eastern Kentucky Golf Association, $5,000 to the Yancey Scholarship Fund, and more than $17,000 to the AJGA ACE Grant. Over the last six years, the tournament has given more than $195,000 to local charities and the AJGA Foundation.

“Our goal at the NRP Bluegrass Junior is to provide visiting juniors a first-class tournament experience and at the same time give local players the opportunity to match their skills against the best from all over the world,” said Tournament Chairman Jeff Conley. “Hosting the NRP Bluegrass Junior at Bellefonte each year has not only heightened local interest in junior golf but has also given local players incentive to improve their game hoping for the opportunity to play in our event. It was decided early on in the evolution of this tournament that because golf is a non-revenue sport, the best way to promote junior golf and elevate the quality of local players was to help fund area high school programs.”

The tournament will return to Bellefonte Country Club for the 30th consecutive year, June 11-14.  

The FJ Invitational, which took place June 11-15 at Cardinal Golf & Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., has been honored in the past, receiving Tournament of the Year (2004) and the Volunteer Award (2007). In 2012, the committee donated $21,000 to the First Tee of the Triad and $21,000 to the AJGA ACE Grant.

"We appreciate FootJoy’s generous support of junior golf and the FJ Invitational,” said Tournament Chairman Mark Brazil.  “Because of FootJoy's sponsorship and the support from all of our other sponsors, we are able to make donations to the AJGA’s ACE Grant and the First Tee of the Triad. These are two outstanding programs that are making a major difference in the lives of many young people. It feels great to be able to help kids achieve their dreams through the ACE Grant and our local First Tee Chapter. We are very proud to be able to support both of them through the FJ Invitational, and on behalf of FootJoy, we are honored to accept this prestigious award.”

The tournament returns to the AJGA schedule in 2013 and will be played June 10-14 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.

Complete list of 2012 Tournament Awards.