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Source: Bernie Haney, 785-565-1719,
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-2535,

Friday, July 9, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Nearly 100 teen golfers from across the country will attend The First Tee Life Skills and Leadership Academy, July 13-20, at Kansas State University and Colbert Hills Golf Course.

It's the 10th year K-State and Colbert Hills have hosted the academy.

The participants, ages 13-17, were selected from more than 220 applicants. The academy recognizes and rewards exceptional youth for their accomplishments and teaches them important mentoring skills they can put into practice at their chapter.

The academy also provides character education and leadership instruction through The First Tee Life Skills Experience curriculum. Highlights of the week include workshops, career exploration seminars and golf clinics. Twenty-four coaches will be on hand to provide life skills and golf instruction.

This year's academy theme is "SuperSTAR for Life."

Representing Kansas at the academy will be Jordan Beck, The First Tee Cimarron chapter, and James Gallogly, Leawood, The First Tee Greater Kansas City chapter.

"Each day, participants will learn about various life skills such as self-management, planning and decision-making, interpersonal skills, and helping others," said Bernie Haney, executive director of The First Tee in Manhattan. "Participants learn about themselves and others during this rewarding experience. Some of the young people have never flown on an airplane or traveled to another state; some have never been away from home and on their own for a week."

The teens also will take part in a community service project during the week. They are partnering with Project Evergreen and its GreenCare for Troops, which provides free lawn and yard care to U.S. military families who have a member serving in the armed forces away from home.

"Volunteers are needed to ease the burden of lawn care for a military families in the Junction City and Manhattan communities," said Lynda Bachelor project organizer and director of the K-State Volunteer Center of Manhattan. The teens will participate in a variety of outdoor tasks, including pulling weeds, removing shrubbery, deck cleaning and lawn mowing and trimming.

The First Tee,, is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, a nonprofit organization based at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 3.5 million participants in 50 states, at more than 3,400 elementary schools and in international locations – Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore. Former President George H. W. Bush serves as honorary chairman. The First Tee Founding Partners are The Masters Tournament, LPGA, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the U.S. Golf Association.