The American Junior Golf Association is proud to announce juniors involved in the Leadership Links program have donated more than $1 million to charities of their choice and the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
“This is a huge milestone for the Leadership Links program, and all the juniors who have participated should be proud of what they have accomplished,” said Walker Hill, AJGA vice president of development. “Competition is only one component of the AJGA. Teaching charitable-giving skills is important in developing our next generation, a goal which is facilitated through the AJGA Foundation.”
Since its inception in 2009, nearly 1,000 juniors have participated in Leadership Links, raising $1,076,224 for 450 different charities. The program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the AJGA youth development programs. Leadership Links receives support from the United States Golf Association, which has matched $117,486 of the funds raised by juniors, and has provided juniors with national recognition through the USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award.
In 2012, the AJGA teamed up with The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and has since raised more than $325,000 for the Nicklaus Foundation and the ACE Grant program. At the conclusion of the year, top Playing fore their Future fundraisers, who raise money for The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, have the honor of meeting Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter, Florida.
“These kids have gone out of their way in their own areas to raise money for others,” Nicklaus said. “It’s really special to see them in person, see the expressions on their faces and see how excited they are about the whole thing. We are just so pleased they have chosen [The Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation] to be their arm to get to people and help others.”
New in 2014, AJGA alum and PGA TOUR player Rickie Fowler welcomed top fundraisers, who raised a combined $115,000 for charity, to The Medalist Club in Hobe Sound, Florida, for a round of golf and lunch.
“It’s great for me to spend time at Medalist with juniors who have led the way in raising money this year,” Fowler said. “Leadership Links is a great program for kids to learn to raise money and donate to charity at an early age. This is something they can take and do for the rest of their lives.”