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Leadership Links spends the day with Rickie Fowler and Jack Nicklaus

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JUPITER, Fla. — The American Junior Golf Association partnered with Rickie Fowler and Jack and Barbara Nicklaus to celebrate the top 2016 fundraisers for Leadership Links November 12 at The Bear’s Club.

Since 2009, Leadership Links has helped more than 2,000 junior golfers make a difference in their community by generating more than $1.5 million dollars in charitable donations to charities and the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant program. Leadership Links helps develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age.

The top fundraisers in the Playing fore their Future program benefiting the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation earned the chance to meet Jack and Barbara Nicklaus at a breakfast and autograph session. All funds will be distributed between the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and the ACE Grant. Jet Tickle of Bristol, Tennessee, led the charge, raising $21,339.

“This is probably our most special donation this year,” Barbara said in the Q&A session. “To know that giving back is in your young vocabularies is truly special to us.”

The top fundraisers in Leadership Links also received gifts from Rickie Fowler and played a round of golf with him at The Bear’s Club. Audrey Pulliam of Little Rock, Arkansas, raised the most money for a non-golf charity, the First Baptist Church of Little Rock, funding the building of a church in the Dominican Republic with $20,060. Haley Bookholdt of Columbus, New Jersey, was the top fundraiser for a junior golf charity, the First Tee of Greater Trenton, with $12,475.

“It’s a great stepping stone to these kids continuing to do charity work down the road,” Fowler said. “There’s a lot of giving in the game of golf. I don’t think any sport really rivals us on the amount of money we are able to raise and donate. So Leadership Links is definitely a great way to start.”

The other fundraisers included Rex Brietz of Charlotte, North Carolina, Michael Childress of Salisbury, North Carolina, Alec and Elle Nachmann of Boca Raton, Florida, Braxton Tracy of Huntersville, North Carolina, Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina, and Alex Yun of Weston, Massachusetts. Brietz, Childress, Tracy and Van Paris raised money for the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation. The Nachmanns raised money for The Morgan Pressel Foundation, and Alex Yun raised money for The Jimmy Fund.

For more information on signing up for Leadership Links or donating to a junior’s charity, please visit www.ajga.org/ll or contact Beth Dockter at bdockter@ajga.org.