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Akron, Ohio

First Tee Announces New Community Partnerships


New Board, Executive Director Search, New Programs

City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of stephanie york
Published: 06-25-2014

          June 25, 2014 (Akron, Ohio) – Today, Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic, Summit County Executive Russ Pry, LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) Executive Director Michele Campbell, and First Tee board members Joel Bailey and John Blickle announced several new sponsorships, opportunities and programs for the First Tee of Akron.

          First Tee of Akron is happy to announce continued sponsorship from Bridgestone/Firestone and the City of Akron.  Joining with new and/or expanded sponsorships and partnerships are the LeBron James Family Foundation, the County of Summit, the City of Akron, Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority (AMHA), and the University of Akron. The LeBron James Family Foundation is sponsoring 50 young golfers from the Foundation's Wheels for Education program, while the other sponsorsare each sponsoring 10, and or providing other valuable services.

          Mayor Don Plusquellic announced a new partnership with AMHA and the First Tee of Akron that brings youth golf programming into neighborhoods served by AMHA.   The First Tee of Akron will introduce the game of golf to children at the following community centers:  Joy Park, Patterson Park, Firestone Park, Summit Lake, and Northwest.  While learning the game of golf and the fundamentals of the golf swing, the children will also get lessons on life skills, such as self-management, goal setting, and resiliency skills.

          The First Tee of Akron also announced a whole new slate of board members.  Taking the helm will be Ray Brophy, President of the Board.  Other members of the board include: Drew Alexander, Joel Bailey, John Blickle, Desiree Bolden, Steve Bossart, Ray Brophy, Charles Brown, Michael Cavanaugh, Michael Douglas, Billie Ferguson, Lloyd Ford, Jeff Fusco, Mark Gore, Nathan Gram, Jerry Holland, Dan Horrigan, Ellis Jones, Ray Kapper, Jenny King, Robert Knapp, Peter Kostoff, Darrin Kotecki, Richard Merolla, Jill Newman, Jeff Sheeks, Marco Sommerville, Adam Thomarios, John Valle, Martin Yurjevich.

          With the departure of Executive Director Vincent King, Sr., a few months ago, the board is now searching for a new Executive Director.  Spearheading the search is board member John Blickle.  Anyone interested in learning more about the program can visit  Those interested in applying for the Executive Director position can send his/her resume to [email protected].

          The First Tee of Akron’s program was formed in 1997 by the partnership of LGPA, Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, and USGA and the Founding Corporate Partner, Shell Oil. The founders strived to bring golf to kids and teens that otherwise would not receive the exposure to the game and its positive values. Since that time, The First Tee has grown into a robust youth service organization, impacting, influencing and inspiring more than 9 million young people all across the world.

          The First Tee not only teaches the participants how to swing and hit a golf ball, but also stress their nine core values; honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy and judgment. With the help of over 17,000 active volunteers, high-standard values, communication and leadership skills, confidence, life lessons and much more are taught to the young people. The First Tee program shapes the lives of so many kids to help prepare them for success in high school, college and in life.


For further information, contact:
stephanie york
communications director
Phone: 330-375-2345
E-mail: [email protected]

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