The First Tee Miami recently established its flagship Foundation to support its continuing growth. Through the creation of the Foundation, members hope to build an endowment that will allow more children to benefit from The First Tee Miami’s services.
The First Tee Miami’s programs are designed around teaching young people the game of golf, as well as helping them understand, and ultimately develop, The First Tee Nine Core Values: Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy and Judgment.
The First Tee’s curriculum was developed by experts in the field of positive youth development through sport, and is delivered by caring adults or “coaches” who have been formally trained by The First Tee’s national organization.
At The First Tee Miami, golf and life lessons are seamlessly incorporated into each experience. In addition to learning fundamentals of the golf swing and the game, children are taught life skills lessons such as interpersonal skills, self-management, goal setting and resiliency skills.
In early 2013, The First Tee Miami Family Learning Center opened its doors at Melreese Country Club. The Family Learning Center boasts 5,500 square feet of educational and tutorial space, with interactive smart boards, 18 workstations and brand new computers, as well as state-of-the-art golf teaching and practice facilities. The inauguration of this new building allowed The First Tee Miami to launch its after school program, and multiply its impact on South Florida’s children.
The First Tee has partnered with Grasp Learning, a pioneering after school academic program. With Grasp, children receive homework assistance, study skill development and digital literacy classes. Children who need assistance preparing for standardized tests, or who could benefit from foundational reading skills reinforcement, are able to received specialized lessons.
Michael D. Wohl, partner at Pinnacle Housing Group, one of the nation’s largest affordable housing developers, is chair of the First Tee of Miami-Dade Foundation. Charlie DeLucca Jr. will continue as president and executive director of The First Tee of Miami; his son, Charlie DeLucca III, is executive director.
Other members of the board include: Daniel Baumgard, CEO and owner of Investment Management Associates Inc.; Doreen S. Furnari, assistant general counsel at Carnival Corporation; Joel Furnari, retired high school athletics director; Andres Gaviria, an executive with the Professional Golf Association; Susan Goldstein, presi- dent of Susan Goldstein Consulting Inc.; Jim Hauser, an attorney at law; Carlos M. Rodriguez, an attorney with Weiss Serota Helfman Pastoriza Cole & Boniske PL; Jose “Joe” Sanchez, former City of Miami commissioner, currently Public Affairs Officer for the Florida Highway Patrol Troop E Miami; Patricio G. De Torres, retired Bacardi executive, and Jeff Weiner, CEO of MDW Insurance Group.