Sam Love, a senior honors student at Hewitt Trussville High School, has raised the most money in the first year of the American Junior Golf Association’s Playing It Forward initiative. Love’s efforts have allowed him to donate thousands of dollars to local and national charity programs.
Love raised $7,200 through the “Birdies for Charity” program in June and July. He collected flat donations and per-birdie pledges by recording 63 birdies in nine tournaments.
On Tuesday, Sept. 22, $3,600 of the money Love raised was donated to Eagles’ Wings of Tuscaloosa, an organization dedicated to serving adults with special needs. Eagles’ Wings provides day habilitation services for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities including those who are medically fragile. The overall mission and long-range plan of Eagles’ Wings is to build homes to provide residential care and to give residents vocational opportunities.
“Golf has always been a game that supports community giving and I am so excited to be working on such a rewarding project,” Love said. “This donation, and others supporting Eagles’ Wings, will help build their residential community sooner rather than later.”
Eagles’ Wings has purchased 96 acres and will break ground for construction later this year.
“We are very appreciative of Sam’s contribution and hard work,” said Jerry Pike, president and one of the initial founders of Eagles’ Wings. “His donation will be used for a good cause, help us with getting things off the ground and go a long way to funding our facilities.”
The remaining $3,600 of the money raised has been donated to the AJGA Foundation and will be used in supporting the ACE Grant and other foundation programs.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 nearly $50,000.
For more information on Love or the Playing It Forward program, please contact AJGA National Headquarters at 770-868-4200.