By Brad Bennett
Did you know that this is National Volunteer Week?
We couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to thank the more than 19,000 volunteers who have donated their time to our chapters by supporting fundraising and events, assisting with operations and administration, mentoring, coaching and more!
One-third of young people say they lack adult role models. A caring, trustworthy adult can make the difference in a young person’s life.
In March at The First Tee Network Meeting, we celebrated one particular outstanding volunteer—Kristin Wirtanen. Wirtanen was recognized with the 2014 George H. W. Bush/Shell Oil Company Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of her exceptional service and commitment to participants and staff of The First Tee of Connecticut.
“I like being a part of the chapter’s family that has reached thousands of young people, introducing them to a game that can be enjoyed throughout their lifetime,” said Kristin, who is employed full-time with the State of Connecticut’s Treasury Department and devotes many of her vacation days to volunteering at The First Tee of Connecticut.
Chapters often operate year-round and rely on the help of volunteers. Thanks to those like Kristin, The First Tee provides junior golfers with quality programs that include adult mentors and safe places for children and teens.
But the lives of young people are not the only ones that are changed through volunteering.
“Volunteering with The First Tee of Connecticut has given me a new appreciation for the game. I have really enjoyed learning how golf can be a fun way to promote positive core values and healthy habits,” Kristin continued. “Also, by volunteering year after year, I can celebrate the participants’ progression in both their life and golf skills as they grow from the beginning level to college scholarship athletes.”
Thanks to all The First Tee volunteers who are making a difference! You can make a difference when you sign up to be a mentor or volunteer at your local chapter!