First Tee – Tampa Bay, a Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA program, is pleased to accept a generous $100,000 grant from the United Services Automobile Association (USAA) to help advance racial equality in Tampa Bay.

Thanks to USAA’s generosity, First Tee – Tampa Bay will be able to provide free golf lessons to 600 minority students in Title I schools throughout Hillsborough County. The grant will also enable First Tee – Tampa Bay to offer 80 golf tournament scholarships and five college scholarships to minority students.

“The goal is to eliminate cost as an obstacle for any children from these specific schools and get them involved in our program,” said Ian Baxter, executive director of First Tee – Tampa Bay. “We are extremely appreciative to USAA for their generosity, which will introduce the game of golf to more children by removing any financial barriers.”

Officially formed in 1999, First Tee – Tampa Bay provides more than 80,000 children each year with hands-on, interactive golf experiences along with introducing them to First Tee’s Nine Core Values. Besides being a program of the Tampa YMCA, First Tee – Tampa Bay also partners with community members such as the Tampa Sports Authority, the City of Tampa and various golf facilities to offer year-round programming for kids and teens.

“At First Tee – Tampa Bay, we do not just teach golf, we teach life skills,” said Ian. “Our program uses the game of golf to provide young people with the chance to develop life-enhancing values like confidence, perseverance and judgment and a series of life skills such as goal-setting, meeting new people and staying healthy.”

Whether through programs in 175+ Hillsborough County Public Schools, after-school programs at several local courses or week-long summer camp experiences, First Tee – Tampa Bay shows children that golf is more than a game—it’s an opportunity to become the very best they can be.
For more information, visit www.firstteetampabay.org or call First Tee – Tampa Bay at 238-7320.

The Tampa Metropolitan Area YMCA is a cause-driven four-star charity, strengthening Hillsborough and East Pasco communities for 132 years through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

Across the association, 18 facilities engage nearly 224,000 men, women and children—regardless of age, income or background—to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve our community’s health and well-being and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors

For more information, visit www.tampaymca.org.