PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. and STEVENTS POINT, WI. (October 6, 2021) – First Tee, a youth development organization that teaches life skills and helps kids and teens build their strength of character through golf, and Sentry, one of the largest business-focused mutual insurance groups in the United States, have announced a new partnership that will help further First Tee’s mission.
As a Trustee of First Tee, Sentry’s investment will support network-wide initiatives that are helping to expand programs, especially in underserved and underrepresented communities, as well as keep kids and teens engaged as they progress through the program and toward higher education. These initiatives include curriculum enhancements, technology innovations, ongoing research, and expanding diversity and inclusion efforts for the growing network of 150 First Tee chapters.
“I’m inspired by the work of the First Tee,” said Pete McPartland, Sentry chairman of the board, president, and CEO. “First Tee does much more than teach kids to golf—they learn integrity, honesty, and determination and build confidence—qualities that help them succeed in life. At Sentry, we look forward to becoming engaged in First Tee’s work and helping to develop these impressive young people.”
The partnership is kicking off on the heels of First Tee’s annual Trustee Meeting held earlier this week in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., home of First Tee Headquarters. The meeting gathers Trustees to hear about First Tee’s impact and strategic plans as well as engage with First Tee participants who have been empowered through the program.
“We are thankful for partners like Sentry that provide support across a number of important areas for First Tee,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of First Tee. “Sentry’s investment will have a lasting impact as we open the door to more kids, empowering them to discover their values and build upon their character strengths.”
For more than 24 years, First Tee has been helping kids and teens build confidence and instill life skills in programs that are delivered through the game of golf. The First Tee network has grown to 150 chapters, including 1,400 program locations across all 50 states and six international locations. The curriculum, rooted in positive youth development and social and emotional learning objectives, has been delivered to more than 11,000 schools and 1,600 youth serving agencies.
Sentry has been involved with golf since 1982 when it built SentryWorld, Wisconsin’s first destination golf facility located at its headquarters in Stevens Point, which will host the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2023. In 2017, Sentry signed on as title sponsor of the Sentry Tournament of Champions, a winners-only PGA TOUR event held on the Hawaiian island of Maui. As title sponsor, Sentry strives to make a positive, year-round impact in the local community supporting several organizations through the tournament, including First Tee — Hawaii. Earlier this year, Sentry also became the USGA’s official insurance partner to invest more deeply in recreational golf and engage more golfers in communities across America.