7 named finalists for 2012 Presidents’ Leadership Award


The Presidents’ Leadership Award was created to recognize one boy and one girl junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the Leadership Links program – a joint initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism. The recipients of the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award will be named on May 31.


Patrick Cover, Huntersville, North Carolina (Class of 2014)

Cover founded and organized the “Dormie Cup,” a golf tournament that benefitted the First Tee Program of the Sandhills, the Wounded Warriors Fund and the AJGA ACE Grant. Enlisting the help of his fellow junior players, he challenged the golfers to raise a minimum of $1,000 to compete in the event. Cover oversaw many aspects of the tournament, from finding a golf course to sending thank-you notes. The first “Dormie Cup” in 2010 raised more than $10,000 and more than $24,000 the following year. Other than organizing the golf tournaments, Cover helped collect blue jeans through his school for less fortunate children in the Aeropostale Jeans for Teens campaign.


Will Mason, Upper Arlington, Ohio (Class of 2013)

Mason was involved as a participant of two spring break mission trips to Tecate, Mexico, through his community church. During the trip, Mason camped near the site where he helped build homes for the less fortunate. He also assisted the Katrina relief efforts in New Orleans in 2010 through the high school program. Alongside his mission trip efforts, Mason helps raise money for the Honor Flight Network to send veterans to visit war memorials in Washington D.C.


Brandon Pierce, Covington, Louisiana (Class of 2013)

Pierce’s humanitarianism began at an early age, as a young golfer on the Fore!Kids Foundation Junior Tour. The lessons and values he received from the Louisiana nonprofit inspired him to start “Brandon’s Birdies,” a program to raise money to help underprivileged children in his local community. Through “Brandon’s Birdies,” donors can pledge a dollar amount for every birdie or better he makes during his regional and national tournaments. Over the last two years, Pierce has raised more than $35,000 for local charities, including the Fore!Kids Foundation.


Kelsey Schultz, Columbus, Ohio (Class of 2013)

Schultz’s admiration for war veterans inspired him to organize an annual Par-a-Thon for the Honor Flight Network. The nonprofit organization sends World War II veterans to visit the war memorial in Washington D.C. Schultz spent many hours organizing all aspects of the event, recruiting his teammates to raise donations for every par, birdie or eagle made throughout the tournament. His dedication to the event led to more than $10,000 in donations within the first two tournaments.


Jessica Kittelberger, Raleigh, North Carolina (Class of 2014)

Kittelberger’s philanthropic efforts stem from her appreciation of the North Carolina Children’s Hospitals, where she was a patient for more than eight years. Through her Golf for Promise tournament, Kittelberger boosted community awareness with promotion on and off the golf course. She raised more than $18,000 for the hospital within the last two years and hopes reach her goal of $12,000 for 2012. Outside of her philanthropic events, Kittelberger served as Vice President for the Environmental Conservation Organization, where she helped raise money to save endangered species and raise awareness about environment issues.


Divya Manthena, Camarillo, California (Class of 2015)

When Manthena learned about the natural disasters in Japan last year, she wanted to use her golf game to help those in need. With help from her family, she founded Krishak, a non-profit organization that raises money and creates awareness for those facing hardship around the world. Manthena organized her first golf tournament fundraiser for June 2011, in which the proceeds went to the American Red Cross to help with Japan relief funds. Other than working with the Krishak organization, Manthena volunteers at the Special Olympics weekly golf camp and her Community’s Wellness Center.


Cassie Wang, Lenexa, Kansas (Class of 2013)

Although community service and volunteerism have always been a part of her life, participation in a tournament near Joplin, Missouri, compelled Wang to lead humanitarian efforts to support the area. Inspired by seeing the devastation the tornados caused to the Joplin community in 2011, Wang chose to participate in Birdies for Charity and raise nearly $1,000 to rebuild the area. After the completion of Birdies for Charity, Wang’s desire to lead humanitarian projects grew and she created the Youth Hope Fund. Through her efforts and leadership, the fund has raised more than $6,000 to donate to the education of less fortunate children in China.


About the USGA

The USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as 10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.


The USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used on six continents in more than 50 countries.


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