An Update From Bill Hyndman, V
First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, Executive Director
Dear friends,

I hope that this message finds you, your family and loved ones healthy and safe.  As our community works together to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we want to reach out to you, our valued donors and supporters, to provide an update on how the organization has adjusted, so that our robust programming schedule continues, in the online world we’re now operating in.

Following Governor Wolf’s stay at home orders, First Tee of Greater Philadelphia postponed all spring programming, activities and fundraising events.  In addition, both Walnut Lane and John F. Byrne Golf Club’s suspended play. Even though we had over 300 participants registered for our Spring programs and thousands more slated to participate in our National School Program initiatives, we had to put everything on hold.  We know our students were eager to get started, as were our coaches and volunteers! So, our dedicated staff worked incredibly hard to create engaging and innovative opportunities, with daily ‘virtual’ programming for all participants. Last week we had a total reach of almost 10,000.  

Over the past few years, the Board of Directors and I have worked hard to build up our Cash Reserve fund as an ‘insurance policy’ for unforeseen circumstances.  The current crisis is far worse financially than we could have ever imagined and has dramatically stalled our $1 million annual fundraising efforts. As a result, we have cut all budgeted expenses for the next 90 days by 60%.  On the positive side, our cash reserve supplemented with help from the Cares Act legislation will help us continue operations until the environment normalizes.   

We look forward to keeping you informed about how we are continuing to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values, and promote healthy choices, through the game of golf.  Your dedication makes it possible for us to positively influence young people within our community. We remain committed to serving our participants and their families throughout this unprecedented time.  I sincerely thank you for m aking everything we do possible and for helping to make the world a better place.  

Safe regards,

Programming Update

Perseverance. One of the Nine Core Values. The meaning: to keep trying no matter what.

Have we done that so far? Absolutely. Our classes and programming are built upon the principles of being outside, interacting with others and holding ourselves accountable to be the best people that we can be. Now we’re simply doing that at home and inside. Eagle Participant Riley also joined in the fun and hosted last Tuesday’s class .
We are proud to call the Nine Core Values ours and will continue to practice them each and every day. We hope this week you’ll practice perseverance with us and, maybe, your putting too.
Golf Course Update
The Maintenance staffs of both Walnut Lane Golf Club and John F. Byrne Golf Club have been hard at work while the courses are closed. They are making daily improvements, while working with a skeleton crew, to ensure everyone's safety. Their work has led to the best conditions we have seen in a long time.
Walnut Lane Golf Club
Ben Davies, Walnut Lane Golf Course Superintendent, has led projects on striping fairways, and seeding and mowing greens. Ben even took time to help the First Tee programming team out with a Virtual STEM class on the science behind aerating a fairway. The response from participants was fantastic! Thank you Ben for your help and hard work.
John F. Byrne Golf Club
Joe Diacovo, John F. Byrne Golf Course Superintendent, has drastically improved the tee boxes on #3 and #8, replaced the dangerous bridges on #3 and #4 with beautiful brand new ones, and repaired the clubhouse. 

We cannot wait for everyone to use this space, whether it be for a classroom for our young people or a place to eat after a round of golf!