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B's Donate $18,000 to First Tee

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins
BOSTON, MA -- Boston Bruins players, Byron Bitz, David Krejci, Shawn Thornton and Dennis Wideman along with Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development Bob Sweeney and Bruins Alumni and Sports Hub 98.5 Color Commentator, Bob Beers presented a check for $18,000 to the Executive Director of The First Tee of Massachusetts, Joe McCabe, the Head Golf Professional at MGA Links, Pete Walsh, and young golfers from the MGA Junior Golf Fund on Tuesday, September 1 at TPC Boston.

The presentation took place following the conclusion of the Deutsche Bank Red Sox Legends & Friends Pro-Am on the practice putting green.

The MGA currently operates The First Tee of Massachusetts in hopes of introducing a younger generation to the game of golf. The First Tee of Massachusetts is a statewide initiative that offers programming at MGA Links at Mamantapett located in Norton.

“The First Tee of Massachusetts is a junior golf program,” said McCabe. “It’s a statewide initiative and a couple years ago through the Mass Golf Association we set up the MGA junior golf fund to bring in donations and money to help pay for our program across the state.

“Each year we work with about 3,000 kids with about 30-some odd youth agencies, Boys and Girls clubs and YMCAs, in order to get them involved in golf.

The program is offered at sites in Lynnfield, Springfield, and Hyannis in addition to a variety of seasonal programs at other locations around the state. The First Tee is a unique program that introduces children to the game of golf while at the same time using the Nine Core Values of The First Tee curriculum to teach life skills that are important on and off the golf course.

“Kids who really wouldn’t have the chance to play golf take part in our program and any dollar that we get in goes directly back into our program to help pay for everything,” added McCabe. “This is the second or third year we’ve done this with the Bruins and obviously they do a lot of great work in the community so we’re real happy to be a part of their program.”

The success of the MGA Junior Golf Fund has made it possible for children to take part in these programs for no cost. In 2008, The First Tee of Massachusetts will reach out to nearly 3,000 children and 30+ local youth agencies through all of its programs.

“It’s great to see that the Bruins and the Bruins Foundation are able to contribute to the Mass Junior Golf Fund,” said Boston Bruins Foundation Director of Development Bob Sweeney.

“Today we gave them a check for $18,000, which shows what the former guys and the current guys do in the community to give back,” he said.

Defenseman Byron Bitz thinks it’s important to help the community. “It’s very important,” said Bitz. “I mean, the community is so supportive of us as a team and any way that we can give back is great to help out,” he said.
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