Executive Director Tyler Smies’ 2022 Marathon

I‘m now less than 48 hours from teeing off for this year’s marathon fundraiser, where I’ll attempt to play 150 holes at Kent Country Club to raise money for First Tee students on scholarship. This is my last note before I play. Will you pledge to me to help our kids at First Tee? I’m 60% of the way to my goal of $20,000 raised!

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I love how First Tee can help kids from across the gamut through the game of golf. This winter, I led Homework & Hitting with kids from Grand Rapids Public Schools, all of whom participated for free because of their family’s income. I was able to build a strong relationship with a dozen kids over the span of 5 months.  When we wrapped up, each of them had earned enough First Tee bucks to buy what they wanted – full golf sets, hats, gloves, and shirts. Here we were on the last day of class (I circled all the fun stuff they earned and purchased with their First Tee Bucks that last day)! 

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Tyler with five students from Stocking Elementary with their new clubs and First Tee gear!
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While those journeys with First Tee have just begun, I also am blessed to work with students who have been with us for a decade. This past Thursday, I had the privilege to caddie for Angelo Luciani, a 17-year-old Ace participant, who started in First Tee when he was just 8 years old. Angelo played in a prestigious invite-only Amateur Tournament at Detroit Golf Club called the Michigan Medal Play (formerly Horton Smith). On his second round on Thursday, Angelo shot a sizzling 1-under 67 and came within a few strokes of making the cut. 

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Tyler and Angelo Luciani on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Detroit Golf Club

No matter where a student is on their journey, First Tee walks alongside them, using the game as a teaching tool to teach about life. I firmly believe there is no better place to build a relationship than on the golf course. Will you support me with a per hole, per birdie, or flat pledge before I play tomorrow, so we can continue to impact even more kids in 2022?

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I hope to hear from you before I tee off tomorrow morning!