They create charity golf tournaments. They organize junior golf associations and activities. They publish books. They donate time to charities. In sum, they look for creative ways to serve their communities - often through the game of golf.
They are the top candidates for the 2008 Presidents’ Youth Leadership Award, which was created to recognize junior golfers who demonstrate leadership, character and community service through their involvement with the USGA • AJGA Youth Leadership Club – a joint initiative founded in 2005 to further develop junior golfers through volunteerism.
This three-part series recognizes seven boys and seven girls for their incredible community service. Part I takes a look at the four honorable mention candidates for the award. Part II highlights the award’s eight finalists. Part III features the boy and girl who are receiving the 2008 award.
Kyleen and Kimberly Carpenter
Girls golf in Tampa, Fla., is alive and well, thanks in large part to the efforts of twin sisters Kyleen and Kimberly Carpenter.
The combination of golf and the service-oriented Girl Scouts led the Carpenters to create two chapters of the LPGA-USGA Girls Golf Program in the Tampa area.
“Finding a way to integrate the two never occurred to me until I decided to complete my Gold Award,” Kimberly said. “The requirement states that you should pick a project centered on something you love and want to pursue in the future. Of course, golf came immediately to mind.”
The sisters recruited their high school coach and put together a board of directors, which includes many fellow Girl Scouts. Together the twins promote and recruit, raise funds, and organize activites among the two chapters.
“We will encourage girls to participate and enjoy the game of golf for many years to come,” Kyleen said.
The flight from New York to Texas was fairly routine, other than the epiphany that altered his course in life.
“While up in the air I said to myself I want to do something to give back to other people,” Cameron said.
He had already begun volunteering his time as a student leader for a Christian group called Young Life. But he wanted to do even more. The idea of hosting his own charity golf tournament for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) came to him somewhere above America’s heartland. It was an idea close to his heart, as he has good friends who suffer from the affliction. When he arrived home, he went to work, lining up support from Director of Golf Rene Rangel at Traditions Golf Club at Texas A&M in Bryan, Texas.
Next, Cameron and his parents lined up sponsors, including LaTroy Hawkins of the New York Yankees. With $24,000 from sponsors alone, Cameron’s final step is to gather the players and even more funds for the inaugural Cameron Scitern JDRF Charity Golf Tournament.
“One of my main goals is to raise money for JDRF, in which these people fight daily to make sick kids live as normal a life as they possibly can,” Cameron said. “I plan on making the JDRF charity tournament an annual event raising more money each year.”
Mark Scott Jr.
The flood that struck his county in 2005 brought out the best in Mark Scott Jr. He was not yet a freshman in high school at the time, but he was inspired by his mother’s desire to assist the flood victims.
Mark’s plan was to publish a photo book documenting the disaster, with the proceeds going to the local American Red Cross Chapter. Sales of the book generated $3,000 for the Muskingum Chapter to assist with flood relief.
“I felt as if I indeed really made a difference for needy familes who sustained damage from the severe flooding,” Mark said.
His service was recognized by the American Red Cross chapter, as Mark received the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award in 2005.
Mark also seeks to inspire others to volunteer, both as president of his high school’s Interact Service Club and through his creation of the Web site, International Children’s Achievement Network (www.ican07.info).