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First Tee forms fundraising committee

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The First Tee of Brunswick County has formed a grant-writing committee that conducted its first meeting Feb. 14 in Southport.

Eight volunteers will actively pursue grants and other fundraising opportunities in the months to come, according to a press release.

Al Arrigoni, executive director of the local First Tee chapter, and Carol Szot, board member and fundraising director, will serve on the committee.

Other members include Randy Sloup, Jim and Bonnie Westbrook, Frank Voelker, Richard Gallotta, and Maggie Smith Roedema.

“We are excited about the opportunities available to The First Tee both locally and nationally,” Szot said.

“Our long term goal is to become a self-sufficient, endowed foundation that will grow and support our program for years to come.”

Szot said the two major areas of the foundation will be the Scholars Trust, which will fund two college scholarships each year, and the Operations and Maintenance Trust, which will provide salary, transportation, insurance, golf instruction and maintenance of First Tee facilities at Cinghiale Creek golf course near Shallotte.

“In addition to grants, we hope that local businesses will increase their support as they realize the value of The First Tee in teaching golf and core values to our youth,” Szot said.

“Already, several persons in Brunswick County have given bequests to us. We will be holding special events during the year to create opportunities for giving, both financially and as gifts in kind.”

Szot explained that “gifts in kind” are donations of food and bottled water, equipment, paper goods, tee times and access to local golf courses and other materials needed by the program.

Arrigoni said he is extremely pleased with the community support The First Tee receives.

“The community has been behind us since we began operations two years ago,” he said.

“I and our volunteers personally see the lives of our youth being impacted every day through the principals that we teach. When we see changes in attitude and effort, in courtesy and sportsmanship, we know we are doing the right thing.”

The First Tee of Brunswick County is a nonprofit organization that provides learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf and other activities.

For more information, contact Arrigoni at 754-5288 or email coachal@thefirstteebrunswickcounty.org or Szot at 253-7029 or cszot@ec.rr.com.