The Carolina Cup, part of the AJGA’s State Cup Series, was the founding event of the series. In 2010, 12 juniors teamed up to raise $12,000 for charity. Patrick Cover and Thomas Walsh, both North Carolina natives, founded the initial event. Though its leadership, title (originally titled the Dormie Cup) and venue have changed, this event provided a blueprint for future Leadership Links and ACE Grant fundraising opportunities.
Jackson Van Paris of Pinehurst, North Carolina, took over hosting the event in 2017. Van Paris is a three-time Rolex Junior All-American, a three-time AJGA Champion and was named a 2020 Player Representative on the AJGA Board of Directors.
It's really fun to be able to get all of my buddies together and give back. I'm honored that I'm able to do something like this that uses our passions and talents to raise money for the Nicklaus Health Care Foundation and help kids get the medical care they otherwise may not have been able to afford.
Since the events inception benefiting charities of the the Carolina Cup have been the Wounded Warrior Project, Curesearch for Children’s Cancer, The First Tee (Sandhills and Tri Counties) and now the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The event also raises money for the AJGA’s Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant, which provides financial assistance to young men and women who aspire to earn a college golf scholarship through competitive junior golf. Since 2010, the event has raised $500,000.
The State Cup Series, a series of junior-led fundraising tournaments, is a branch of the AJGA’s Leadership Links program, which helps develop young men and women by teaching charitable giving skills and service-oriented practices at an early age. This program gives juniors all the tools necessary to donate their time, talent and resources to local charities and the ACE Grant.