Coral Gables High senior Tomas Nieves volunteers for the Ganley Foundation, which works to raise awareness about teen suicide. He’s the foundation’s Youth Outreach Ambassador.
“What they do, they have a 100-hole golf tournament,” he said. “I raise $5,000 a year and then play 100 holes of golf.”
He raises the money from family and friends. He also posts items on Instagram, Snap Shat and Facebook.
“It takes, I’d say, three to four months to get to the whole goal. I’ve been doing this since I was 12-yearsold, me and my brother. Usually my father helps.”
Nieves became involved with the foundation because his father is a good friend of the founder.
The tournament requires golfers to play two 18-hole rounds of golf with three balls.
“It’s really for fun, nobody keeps the score well,” he said.
This summer, Nieves worked with a Special Olympian, teaching him how to play the game and helped in a Special Olympics tournament.
“We played alternate shots. We played rounds together before that for practice,” he said. “I taught him the rules. He knew how to play, but he didn’t know the small things.”
He also plays for the Gables team and has been captain for the past two years. Nieves said he expects the team to make the district tournament and hopes to qualify for regionals.
He is good enough that he won districts the past two years and almost qualified for the state tournament last year.
He also is being recruited by several colleges.
He played in the 2014 Junior Orange Bowl Golf Tournament and hopes to qualify for the 2015 event.
Nieves has volunteered for the summer camp at the Biltmore Golf Course, teaching children ages 4 to 11 how to play.
“I had a lot of fun doing that. I did that for about three weeks at the beginning of summer,” he said. “Before I started traveling and playing a lot of golf tournaments.”
— Linda Rodriguez Bernfeld