JOHNSON, Ark. Drew Johnson of Oak Ridge, N.C., and Jacqueline Calamaro of Newtown Square, Pa., were presented the 2010 Presidents Leadership Awards Thursday evening at the Rolex Tournament of Champions at Blessings Golf Club in Johnson, Ark.
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 Leadership Links program a joint initiative created to promote volunteerism among junior golfers. The awards were presented by USGA President Jim Hyler and AJGA Board President Gayle Champagne.
The 15-year-old Johnson has volunteered with the Special Olympics for seven years, giving more than 1,000 hours of service to Special Olympic golfers. In addition to coaching players, he organized a fundraising tournament and has raised more than $23,000 for the Greensboro Special Olympics golf team.
Having accomplished so much at only 15 years of age, its clear there are many great things in store for Drews future, Hyler said as he introduced Johnson. Drews commitment and attitude toward volunteer work will hopefully encourage others to volunteer their time in their local community.
In his acceptance speech, Johnson said: Just as Ive had my parents and a lot of people helping me reach my dreams in my life, I feel that I should give back and help my friends in Special Olympics reach their dreams.
Calamaro, 18, has committed service to many organizations over the years, but she went above and beyond during her senior year of high school to organize a Golf-a-Thon with one of her Radnor High School teammates to raise funds for The First Tee of Philadelphia.
After taking pledges for each hole played in the Golf-a-Thon, $7,400 was initially raised, although additional money has continued to come in, which will assist The First Tee of Philadelphia with the building of a new practice facility. As a young girl, Calamaro participated in the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf program in Philadelphia, and the Golf-a-Thon will help other young players as they learn the game.
She is a cheerleader for the world, Champagne said as she presented the award to Calamaro. Her positive spirit drives her and inspires all around her.
At first I thought I made a mistake because the time commitment was much greater than I had anticipated, Calamaro said in her acceptance speech. But it became a labor of love, especially as I experienced firsthand the generosity of my friends, the golf community in Philadelphia and my hometown. The knowledge that I was contributing to the construction of a brand new practice facility for hundreds of young golfers each week was an even greater energizer.
About the USGA
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the USA and Mexico. The USGA annually conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Womens Open, U.S. Senior Open and 10 national amateur championships. It also conducts two state team championships and helps conduct the Walker Cup Match, Curtis Cup Match and World Amateur Team Championships.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, provides expert course maintenance consultations, maintains a Handicap System® and celebrates the history of the game. Since 1983, the USGA Turfgrass and Environmental Research Program has awarded more than $31 million to more than 400 research projects for better turf and a better environment at universities across the country. The USGA also funds an ongoing For the Good of the Game grants program, which has allocated more than $65 million over 13 years to programs that bring the games values to youths from disadvantaged backgrounds and people with disabilities. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
About the AJGA
AJGA alumni have risen to the top of amateur, collegiate and professional golf. Former AJGA juniors have compiled more than 400 victories on the PGA and LPGA Tours. AJGA alumni include Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Cristie Kerr, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel.
For more information, please contact Rob Coleman (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the AJGA Communications Department at (770) 868-4200.