Those who met her at the 2007 EWGA Conference will remember Rose Naliaka. Those whose generosity helped the EWGA Foundation share the gift of golf with Rose’s girls may remember the story.
It was the first effort undertaken by the EWGA Foundation to “share the gift of golf” with those less fortunate. Rose Naliaka is the only female golf professional in Kenya and with the help of EWGA members, Chapters, and sponsors; Rose now has the tools she so sorely needed to use golf to teach life lessons to girls who otherwise lead a squalid existence in a country rife with HIV and illiteracy.
Prior to our help, Rose and her girls had only a handful of golf clubs. More than a year after the golf clubs, shoes, clothes and more were collected, packed to journey across the Atlantic ocean, and stalled by a lengthy customs delay, Rose’s EWGA “gift of golf” finally arrived giving every one of her girls the chance to swing at a golf ball and hope for a better life.
2009 Brings it Home
This year’s Drive for Dreams campaign benefits Renee Powell’s girls’ golf program in East Canton, Ohio.
A LPGA/PGA golf professional, Renee is one of only three African-American women to play on the LPGA Tour and she was the recipient of the EWGA’s 2002 Leadership Award (one of many golf industry awards). Her family’s Clearview Golf Club (on the National Register of Historic Places) was built by her father in 1948 and remains the only African-American owned and operated golf facility in the country.
Over the past seven years, Renee’s year-round girls’ golf program has nurtured nearly 250 girls, introducing them to golf and the many doors it can open. Many of her students who did not know how to play golf at the start of their school years are now on collegiate teams. One has earned a full scholarship to Penn State and another received a Women’s Sports Foundation scholarship.
There are two ways for EWGA members to get involved with the EWGA Foundation’s Drive for Dreams initiative. Here’s how you can help:
EWGA Chapters are invited to “adopt a girl”
Be one of 33 EWGA Chapters who will personally help one of Renee’s 35 girls this year (the EWGA Foundation Board and the EWGA staff have already adopted two girls).
The girls range in age 7 to 15. You can help them start their school year off this fall by providing basic school supplies and a golf outfit. We all know how a new outfit can lift your spirits and buoy one’s confidence! And let’s not take for granted that starting school with the basics is something enjoyed by all students. Won’t you “adopt” one of Renee’s girls and be responsible for a smile that is sure to last all year long? Chapters interested in adopting one of Renee’s girls should send an email indicating your Chapter’s intent to adopt one (or more) of Renee’s girls to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this email, include your Chapter name and the designated Chapter contact name for this effort. Once you receive from AHQ the information on your girl and the list of suggested items for your Chapter to collect (items are to be new vs. used), your Chapter board can work on collecting the modest list of low cost items and/or put the word out to your Chapter membership. Download additional details on the Drive for Dreams Adopt A Girl program here. Deadline for receipt of boxes is September 1, 2009.
Turn Unwanted Clubs into Cash Donations
The EWGA Foundation is working with the PGA of America and its Trade-In Network to help us turn unwanted golf clubs into cash donations based on their fair market trade-in values. The EWGA is doing its part by having club donation drop off receptacles at its 15 EWGA Championship semi-final sites and at the Championship Finals at which everyone it welcome to contribute. EWGA Chapters are also encouraged to utilize local events to also collect golf club donations under the Drive for Dreams initiative. To learn more about how to host a club donation drive in conjunction with a local event, download this program overview.