CHARLOTTE — Champions for Education, the non-profit organization that manages and operates the Wells Fargo Championship, has designated The First Tee of Greater Wilmington as the primary beneficiary of the 2017 PGA TOUR event scheduled to be played May 1–7 at Eagle Point Golf Club.
To initiate its presence and support of the Wilmington area, Champions for Education announced a $25,000 challenge grant to support The First Tee of Greater Wilmington. The grant will be used by the local chapter of The First Tee to encourage financial support to be matched by Champions for Education, up to $25,000, potentially generating a total of $50,000.
The First Tee of Greater Wilmington’s principal goal is to introduce the game of golf and The First Tee Nine Core Values and Nine Healthy Habits to 25,000 youth within the community by 2019.
“We are excited about The First Tee of Greater Wilmington’s plans for this area and look forward to doing whatever we can to assist those efforts,” said Mac Everett, a board member with Champions for Education. “With the help of our title sponsor Wells Fargo, our host Eagle Point Golf Club, other corporate partners, the many volunteers, and the fans who attend the tournament, this will be an opportunity for the Wells Fargo Championship to leave a permanent legacy in the Greater Wilmington area.”
With support from the City of Wilmington, a track of land adjacent to the Wilmington Municipal Golf Course has been allocated for the development of a new First Tee of Greater Wilmington program site to create a solid learning environment. With construction currently underway, the facility will consist of a three-hole practice course, a netted hitting area and 1,000 square foot classroom building.
The First Tee of Greater Wilmington plans to celebrate the grand opening of the new facility in May during the week of the Wells Fargo Championship. A portion of the tournament’s proceeds will then be distributed to The First Tee of Greater Wilmington in the months that follow.
“We are so appreciative of the financial support and the increased awareness the 2017 Wells Fargo Championship will provide to The First Tee of Greater Wilmington,” said Gordon Dalgleish, who serves as chairman of the board for The First Tee of Greater Wilmington. “The support from Wells Fargo and the tournament will create a lasting community legacy as we seek to impact the lives of so many of our young people in the years ahead.”
Re-establishing a chapter in Wilmington has been the dream of several local individuals and businesses, including the membership of Eagle Point Golf Club. The First Tee was first brought to this area as The First Tee of the Cape Fear Region through the Carol S. Petrea Youth Foundation in Brunswick County.
“We are proud to continue our support for The First Tee, both at the national and local levels,” said Barry Eichelberger, business banking manager and market president for Wells Fargo in Wilmington. “They are making a real difference in our local communities and their work connects directly with Wells Fargo’s vision and values. Our goal is to help build strong and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life and make a positive difference.”
In 2015, Wells Fargo became a National Trustee for The First Tee and pledged $1 million to the program. Wells Fargo also established the Succeeding Together contest for participants of The First Tee around the country to earn the opportunity to attend the tournament and play in the Wednesday Pro-Am.
With a one-year stop in the Port City during the 2017 PGA TOUR season, the tournament aims to make a positive impact on various local organizations. All charitable donations from the 2017 tournament will remain in the Wilmington area.