BRASELTON, Ga. - Zachary Herr of New Hope, Pa., and Emily Gimpel of Lafayette Hill, Pa., were presented the 2009 Presidents’ Youth Leadership Award Friday evening at the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Dalhousie Golf Club in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
The award was created to recognize one boy and one girl AJGA member who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the USGA–AJGA Youth Leadership Club – a joint initiative founded in 2006 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
“Zach’s story is pretty special,” Vernon said. “He was the model son. But two years ago when his mom was diagnosed with colon cancer, Zach became more than the model son. Zach founded the Zach Attacks Cancer Foundation. This 13-year-old, through a golf outing, silent auction and sale of wrist bands, raised more than 60 thousand dollars for cancer research.”
In his acceptance speech, Herr said: “After my mother was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2007 and after numerous trips to the cancer center with her, I decided I could try to increase the percentages (of survival) for all those patients sitting in the infusion center for their daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments.”
Now 14 years old, Herr continues to raise money through his foundation to fund cancer research and help others suffering from cancer as his mom once did.
Gimpel started her fundraising by collecting donated clubs and re-selling them on eBay. The money she raised went to help St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children.
“There’s some discipline, there’s some heart, there’s some spirit, there’s everything it takes to be who she is and she’s my hero,” Champagne said as she presented the award to Gimpel.
“I learned early on that happiness has more to do with what you give than what you get,” Gimpel said in her acceptance speech. “For me growing up playing golf, when I wanted to find a way to help with pediatric cancer research I went right to golf. Giving back through golf is not only important right now, but for making an impact on our community for golf in the future.”
About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in this country and Mexico, a combined territory that includes more than half the world’s golfers and golf courses.
The Association’s most visible role is played out each season in conducting 13 national championships, including the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open. Ten USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women’s Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, funds research for better turf and a better environment, maintains a Handicap System and administers an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” grants program, which has allocated more than $59 million over 11 years to successful programs that bring the game’s values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org
About the AJGA
The American Junior Golf Association is a 501(c)(3) 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, the largest Association of its kind, has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 50 states and 30 foreign countries.
Titleist, the AJGA’s National Sponsor, has been the catalyst and driving force behind the Association’s success since 1989. Rolex Watch USA, which is in its third decade of support, became the inaugural AJGA Premier Partner in 2004. In 2007, after 12 years of support, Polo Ralph Lauren became the AJGA’s second Premier Partner.
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. More than 200 former AJGA juniors currently play on the PGA and LPGA Tours and have compiled more than 350 wins. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III, Cristie Kerr, Pat Hurst, Paula Creamer, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel and Julieta Granada.
For more information, please contact Rob Coleman (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (770) 868-4200.