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JUNIOR GOLFERS FROM FIRST TEE OF PHOENIX SELECTED TO PLAY IN HOME CARE & HOSPICE FIRST TEE OPEN AT PEBBLE BEACH

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 14, 2010



CONTACTS:



Hugh Smith, hsmith@thefirstteephoenix.org, 602-305-7655



Chris Kaplan, ckaplan@commlinks.com, 480-348-7540



Jeff Locke, jlocke@commlinks.com, 480-348-7540






JUNIOR GOLFERS FROM FIRST TEE OF PHOENIX SELECTED TO PLAY IN HOME CARE & HOSPICE FIRST TEE OPEN AT PEBBLE BEACH

Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach set for Labor Day weekend



PHOENIX, Arizona – Four junior golfers from The First Tee of Phoenix have been chosen to take part in the Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, an official Champions Tour event that will be held September 3-5 during Labor Day weekend and televised nationally on Golf Channel.   Blake Toolan, Anthony Quezada, Mikey McGilton and Chris Petefish were chosen based on their comprehension of the life skills and core lessons learned through involvement with The First Tee and an assessment of their playing ability.



“We are thrilled to be included once again in this prestigious event,” said Hugh Smith, Executive Director of The First Tee of Phoenix.  “The event is a great first-hand learning experience.  They’re surrounded all week by Champions Tour players who have prospered because of the game and the lessons it teaches.  The event is a shining example as well as a strong incentive.  Oh, and playing the best golf courses on the Monterey Peninsula puts the icing on the cake for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”



Seventy-eight junior golfers from various First Tee chapters throughout the U.S. have been selected to play in the tournament.  Entering its seventh year, this unique event features junior golfers and amateurs competing side-by-side with Champions Tour players at renowned Pebble Beach Golf Links and Del Monte Golf Course. It serves as a showcase for The First Tee, an organization dedicated to impacting the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.



“Thanks to the National Association for Homecare (NAHC), the 2010 tournament will showcase this highly successful youth-development program to a global audience and celebrate the values upon which both Home Care & Hospice and The First Tee are based,” states Monterey Peninsula Foundation Board Chairman Clint Eastwood.



Two hundred and forty-five junior boys and girls, ages 15-18, that participate at The First Tee Chapters nationwide applied for this year’s tournament.  Fifty-one junior boys and twenty-three junior girls received invitations.  Participants were selected based on an assessment of their playing ability and comprehension of the life skills and core lessons learned through involvement with The First Tee. To round out the final field of 78 juniors that will compete in the tournament, the host organization, The Monterey Peninsula Foundation, awarded four exemptions.



“The opportunity these young people will receive by participating in the tournament will be something they remember for life,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., CEO of The First Tee.  “The participants selected have proven themselves on the golf course and through demonstrating their understanding of The First Tee Nine Core Values and life skills they have learned at their Chapters. It is an honor for them to participate, and we thank Home Care & Hospice for their involvement in this year’s event.”



The Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach will air on Golf Channel Friday and Saturday, September 3-4 from 6:30-8:30 pm ET and 7:00-9:30 pm ET on Sunday, September 5.



Will Bishop from The First Tee of Lexington and David Eger are the defending champions in the pro-junior competition.  Jeff Sluman is defending champion and a two-time winner of the professional event.



To learn more about the Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach, visit www.thefirsttee.org or www.thefirstteeopen.com. You can also follow the Home Care & Hospice First Tee Open at Pebble Beach blog www.tftopenpebblebeach.wordpress.com.



About the NAHC

The National Association for Homecare (NAHC) is a non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 25,000 homecare and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services to some 10 million Americans each year who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Homecare and hospice caregivers every year drive more than 4.8 billion miles to care for individuals who are confined to home and cannot care for themselves. Along with its advocacy, NAHC provides information to help its members provide the highest quality of care and is committed to excellence in every respect. www.nahc.org and www.caring.org.



About Monterey Peninsula Foundation

Monterey Peninsula Foundation is a charitable foundation which  disburses funds from the proceeds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA TOUR and The First Tee Open on the Champions Tour.  MPF focuses on improving the quality of life in Monterey County and surrounding areas. Since the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am came to the Monterey Peninsula in 1947, over $85 million has been raised for charity.  In 2004 The First Tee Open at Pebble Beach was introduced to serve as a showcase for The First Tee whose global mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.

( www.montereypeninsulafoundation.orgwww.attpbgolf.com; www.thefirstteeopen.com )



About The First Tee of Phoenix and The Thunderbirds

The First Tee of Phoenix is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by The Thunderbirds almost a decade ago as the Valley’s local chapter of the national First Tee organization.  The First Tee of Phoenix provides affordable access to golf and golf learning facilities for young people in Maricopa County from all walks of life – particularly those who otherwise might not have an opportunity to play.  The Thunderbirds wanted to provide young Arizonans a place to learn valuable life skills and character-building lessons through creative activities and instructional programs that incorporate the fundamental teachings of golf.  The First Tee of Phoenix currently impacts over 60,000 youths each year at five facilities and 120 schools as part of The National School Program outreach initiative. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports.  Consisting of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members, The Thunderbirds host the Waste Management Phoenix Open; the best-attended golf tournament in the world, which to date has raised nearly $70 million for Valley charities, including the First Tee of Phoenix. With its unmatched fan participation and rich history dating back more than 75 years, The Waste Management Phoenix Open has gained legendary status for being a unique stop on the PGA TOUR. For more information on The Thunderbirds or the Waste Management Phoenix Open, call 602.870.0163 or visit www.WasteManagementPhoenixOpen.com.  For more information on The First Tee of Phoenix call 602.305.7655 or visit www.TheFirstTeePhoenix.org.



About The First Tee

The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org) is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Augustine, Fla. at World Golf Village, home of the World Golf Hall of Fame.  Its mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf.  Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 3.5 million participants in 50 states, 3,500 elementary schools and four international locations – Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and Singapore.  Former President George H. W. Bush serves as honorary chairman.  The First Tee Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA.



About the Champions Tour

Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game with 16 World Golf Hall of Fame members actively competing in its events and numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. The Champions Tour will conduct 26 official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2010 offering $51.5 million in official prize money, with the average tournament purse of $1.98 million. The Champions Tour’s primary purpose is to provide significant competitive and earnings opportunities for its members, to protect the integrity of the game; and to help grow the reach of the game in the U.S. and around the world. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, Champions Tour events generate significant sums of money for charity. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. TOUR headquarters is in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. The web site address is PGATOUR.com