Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation announces grant to First Tee of South Central Wisconsin
Funds will support after-school academics, reading and life skills
The Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation will contribute $50,000 to The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin to help fund expansion of the organization’s after school program on Madison’s northeast side.
The Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation will contribute $50,000 to The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin to help fund expansion of the organization’s after school program on Madison’s northeast side.The expansion includes bringing The First Tee DRIVE - an activity-based program that offers recreation and character development to youth who may not have previously been exposed to the game of golf – in area schools and community centers. The expansion also includes a comprehensive after-school academic and recreation program at Cherokee Country Club.
In addition to the grant from the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Delaware North and the Culver's VIP Foundation will also provide significant financial support of the program.
The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin Executive Director Joe Loehnis said the goal is to establish a long-term presence on the northeast side of Madison, addressing some of the gaps in opportunity and need for quality after-school programming.
“Five public elementary and middle schools are within a two-mile radius of Cherokee, serving nearly 1,500 children,” said Loehnis. “Roughly three quarters of these students are eligible for free and reduced priced lunch based on the federal poverty guideline. It is imperative that we do our part to provide quality, accessible programs to all youth in our community.”Cherokee Country Club already has a comprehensive youth reading program serving this area, with qualified staff and trained volunteers. “The First Tee learning center program will expand Cherokee’s existing program to include The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience curriculum with each youth receiving a healthy snack, one hour of academic tutoring, and one hour of The First Tee programming or other enrichment activity,” said Loehnis.
“The Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation is honored to support the work of The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin,” said Nate Pokrass, foundation director. “Our foundation’s mission is to help develop strong families and healthy kids, and this aligns with the goals of The First Tee organization and the positive impact their programs have on our communities.”
The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin will also have a presence at the inaugural PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship, hosted by Stricker, June 20-26 at University Ridge. A golf youth clinic will be held on the Tuesday, June 21, prior to the start of tournament competition on June 24. Youth from The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin program will take part in the clinic and serve as volunteers at the event, along with 50 other The First Tee volunteers. Eight-time LPGA Tour winner Sherri Steinhauer is the brand ambassador for The First Tee and will also be involved in the tournament.
Tournament proceeds will benefit the American Family Insurance Children’s Hospital and other local charitable organizations.
“We are extremely grateful to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation, Culvers and Delaware North for their generous gifts,” said Loehnis. “As a result of the growth of our DRIVE and academic after-school programs, many more youth will have the opportunity to pursue their dreams through educational and activity-based programs that strengthen and build character traits like resiliency, honesty, and integrity, and learn healthy choices that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
About Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation
Established in 2012 when Steve Stricker became a brand ambassador for American Family Insurance, the mission of the foundation is to show young people their dreams are not only attainable, but worth the effort. The foundation supports charities, educational initiatives and organizations aimed at building strong families and healthy kids, empowering them to chase and achieve their dreams. Web: http://www.strickerfoundation.org /; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/StrickerAmFamFoundation Twitter: @StrickerFNDN
About The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin
The First Tee of South Central Wisconsin seeks to empower and help youth towards high school graduation, college readiness, mentoring opportunities, internships and job opportunities by providing comprehensive golf and life skill instruction, strong relationships with mentors, equipped golf facilities and classrooms, and a myriad of summer and after school programs. In addition they organize activities that foster leadership, develop core values, improve academic performance, and promote healthy lifestyles for youth of all ages through the communities of South Central Wisconsin.