The First Tee of the Sandhills receives $16,000 donation from DJ Gregory & Walking for Kids Foundation
Annual Partnership to Continue through Scholarship Program
PINEHURST, NC – February 23, 2016 – The Walking for Kids Foundation’s mission is to empower youth across the country to achieve their goals and dreams one step at a time. Their leader, DJ Gregory is a testimony to the mission. Gregory, born with Cerebral Palsy, wouldn’t take no for an answer. Born 10 weeks premature, legs entangled, eyes crisscrossed, he endured six leg surgeries and five eye surgeries, all giving him the opportunity to walk for the first time using two crutches; then later with one crutch and today with the use of one cane.
A sports fanatic, DJ chose golf. A sport that he could participate in to its fullest, even while swinging the club with only his right arm and bracing himself with a cane on his left arm. Today DJ plays about a dozen times a year, typically from the forward tees shooting around 105. Through his passion for sports and golf, DJ’s dream came alive.
In 2003 the personal goal of walking PGA TOUR events was birthed. In 2008, after much research, planning and testing his dream came full circle when he walked all 44 PGA TOUR events, that season. Not only did he walk more than 1,000 miles and 3,500 golf holes, he did it with passion, a smile and a never give up attitude.
While living out his dream, DJ learned about The First Tee, its mission and the Nine Core Values. When DJ formed the Walking for Kids Foundation in 2009 he knew that annually they would make a donation to a local chapter of The First Tee. Not to grow the game of golf but to help encourage youth to follow their dreams. “The First Tee is only half golf. What I love is the life skills and the core values.. Honesty, Integrity, Perseverance. I love that unlike in other sports, golfers learn to police themselves on the course, calling rules infractions as they occur,” says DJ Gregory, founder of Walking for Kids.
“The First Tee defines Perseverance as to persist in an idea, purpose or task despite obstacles. Next to the definition should be the name, DJ Gregory. What he embodies, his never give up attitude and his passion for children’s charities. He is a wonderful leader and mentor for each of us and a prime example of the impact the Nine Core Values can have on youth in our community,” says Courtney Stiles, Executive Director for The First Tee of the Sandhills. “Spending the day talking, brainstorming and laughing with DJ inspires me to work harder in all aspects of life.”
Deemed DJ’s “favorite day of the year”, last Tuesday DJ presented The First Tee of the Sandhills with a check for $16,000. “It’s a partnership that allows The First Tee of the Sandhills to continue plans to reach out to more youth, introduce programs to those that have not had the opportunity to hold a golf club, see a golf course or work with a positive mentor,” says Courtney Stiles.
Gregory’s commitment to the local chapter does not stop there. With a two-year total donation to the Sandhills of $31,000, DJ announced that beginning in 2017 his foundation would donate $2,000 ‘every remaining year the foundation is in existence’ to The First Tee of the Sandhills College Scholarship fund. All part of a foster process DJ uses to invest in communities and organizations across the country, working to ensure that he can help inspire youth for many years both on and off the golf course.
What a testament to a young man and his parents, who were repeatedly told he would be confined to a wheelchair, for life.
DJ ended the Q&A portion of Tuesday’s presentation as he does every speaking opportunity, passionately stating, “If I leave you with one thing. if you have a goal and a dream, go after it. Don’t take no for an answer, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. Because if it’s your dream, you can achieve it.” The room filled with smiles, chill bumps and a round of applause, not just from the dozen youth participants of The First Tee of the Sandhills but their parents, board members and volunteers.
Any additional inquiries regarding Tuesday’s event may be made by contacting Courtney Stiles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910.255.3035.
About The First Tee of the Sandhills
The First Tee of the Sandhills (www.thefirstteesandhills.org) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization established to positively impact the lives of young people by providing structured educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The Chapter was formed in 2003 to bring the Life and Golf Skills Curriculum to the six (6) counties in the defined service area including, Moore, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Montgomery and Robeson.
Since inception, more than 2,300 young people have been exposed to The First Tee curriculum through our registered participant opportunities. These youth are first exposed to The First Tee through the National School Program, which is currently operating in over 60 elementary schools or through outreach programs such as DRIVE and TARGET.
About the Walking For Kids Foundation
In 2009, the Walking for Kids Foundation was formed as a tool for DJ Gregory to raise money for children’s charities from coast to coast. The Foundation’s goal is to help children of all ages realize and live out their
dreams and goals as DJ did when he walked every hole of the PGA TOUR in 2008. Throughout the PGA TOUR Season, players pick a tournament they are participating in and for that week pledge money for each eagle and birdie
they make to be directed toward Walking for Kids. In return, DJ walks with that week’s player to raise awareness. Learn more by visiting www.walkingforkids.org.
GENEVIEVE’S HELPING HANDS, INC.
Chef Jen Karlowicz talks about Genevieve’s Helping Hands, Inc. and how her relationship with Genevieve Sonya influenced her culinary outlook.
Who Is Genevieve?
She was a loving daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend and more. During her two year struggle with breast cancer, Genevieve had to search to find the resources she needed to extend her life and take care of her young family. She drew people to her with her courage, spirit, and grace, and connected them to each other as they supported her during her quest to live her life to the fullest. She was encouraged and strengthened by their efforts, and gave back by gently, yet passionately, encouraging them to get involved in the life enriching and life extending principles she believed in. She supported others by passing on what she learned and encouraged them through friendships, mentoring, and starting a support group for young cancer patients.
Why We Do What We Do
After her death, Genevieve’s network of family and friends decided to continue her fight against breast cancer by helping other young women in her name, and to support and promote her passions and causes. We want to make the cancer journey easier to navigate, easily locate needed services, provide an arm to lean on, offer encouragement – all leading to the goal of good health!
Our Focus Is On Young Women With Breast Cancer
A diagnosis of breast cancer can be devastating to any woman, but is most unexpected and unusually challenging to young women under the age of 40, especially those with families. Their medical, social, financial, and emotional needs are different from their older sisters, and frequently not met by today’s medical establishment.
Our Mission Statement
Genevieve’s Helping Hands, Inc. is dedicated to helping young women with breast cancer live their lives to the fullest. We provide personalized help to find needed financial resources, connections to other groups, family and care giver support groups, other cancer patients, nutritional support, and more.
The heart of our mission is to provide small financial grants to young moms that extend and enhance their recovery from any type of breast cancer treatment, including at the start of treatment, a respite during or between treatments, or at the end of treatment.