BRASELTON, Ga. – Carolina Garza of San Clemente, Calif., and Brandon Rodgers of Knoxville, Tenn., recently presented their donations to the local charities they chose to support after participating in the first year of the American Junior Golf Association’s Playing It Forward initiative.
The two collected flat donations and per-birdie pledges throughout the summer, totaling $1,697 in money raised.
Half of the funds raised through Playing It Forward are donated to a local charity of the junior’s choice and the other half goes towards supporting the AJGA’s youth development programs through the AJGA Foundation.
Garza chose to support the Pet Project Foundation.:
“My passion is animals, all creatures big and small,” Garza said. “It is so rewarding to be able to help the Pet Project Foundation care for animals in our community by playing a game I enjoy.”
Rodgers' efforts benefited The First Tee of Knoxville.
“I chose The First Tee of Knoxville as my charity because they gave me my first exposure to the game of golf,” Rodgers said. “I wanted to give back to them in appreciation for their support and all they do.”
The Playing It Forward initiative gives AJGA members all the tools necessary to coordinate a successful fundraising campaign in their communities with the opportunity to give back. There are currently two programs designed and ready to be implemented: Birdies for Charity and the Golf-A-Thon. The money raised through Playing It Forward is split between a local charity of the junior’s choice and the AJGA Foundation. In 2009, 62 juniors participated in the program raising more than $55,000.
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 largest Association of its kind, the AJGA has an annual junior membership (boys and girls ages 12-18) of more than 5,000 junior golfers from 49 states and more than 25 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 AJGA 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.
For more information on Love or the Playing It Forward program, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.