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Multi-year gift by the Gragtmans Family Foundation as founding donor and trustee to launch Ontario chapter of First Tee – Canada will provide transformational character-building opportunities for youth in Ontario and across Canada

(November 23, 2021) Inspired to support the life skills and development values ingrained in golf, the Gragtmans Family Foundation has announced a major $1M USD donation to the Golf Canada Foundation to directly power the advancement of First Tee – Canada.
 
The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation as the Founding Donor and Trustee of First Tee – Ontario will fund and facilitate the provincial chapter launch including program development and delivery with multi-faceted activities designed for schools, community centres, and youth facilities.
 
First Tee – Canada will provide Canadian youth, and especially those in underrepresented groups, access to affordable and meaningful character education programs through golf. Golf Canada intends on launching chapters in every province in Canada by 2022, with the goal of 100,000 annual participants in the program by 2023.
 
“The Gragtmans Family Foundation focuses on the positive development and advancement of youth in Canada and abroad,” said Ian Gragtmans, Founder of the Gragtmans Family Foundation. “We are thrilled to be aligned with one of the world’s premiere and proven international youth development organizations. Our mission of providing youth with support to help positively design and advance their lives aligns well with the First Tee values of integrity, respect and perseverance.” A pursuer of growth and knowledge, Mr. Gragtmans credits many who have and continue to act as mentors, and his support of First Tee Canada directly reflects the ongoing responsibility of giving back by helping others.

“The pace of growth behind First Tee – Canada since being announced in Fall 2020 has been incredible, and that’s because of the shared vision of youth champions like the Gragtmans Family Foundation,” said Golf Canada Chief Sport Officer Kevin Blue. “The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation towards this provincial chapter-founding, multi-year gift brings incredible momentum to our national youth development program in Canada’s largest market and will surely set the example and encourage deeper expansion across the Canadian philanthropic community.”
 
Through its deep network of donors and trustees, Golf Canada Foundation is a critical partner in supporting the launch and advancement of First Tee Canada through its fundraising and philanthropic efforts. Canada’s Provincial Golf Associations will also play a role in the advancement of First Tee Canada as chapters form in markets across Canada.
 
“We are extremely grateful to Ian Gragtmans and the Gragtmans Family Foundation for their incredible generosity as the catalyst to officially launch the first Ontario chapter of First Tee Canada,” said Golf Canada Foundation CEO Martin Barnard. “The meaningful support of our donors and corporate champions has far exceeded our early expectations and has provided real momentum in our discussion with others who want to get behind this character building program for youth.”
 
The generosity of the Gragtmans Family Foundation joins a growing number of chapter-founding and program advancement gifts that have been secured in 2021 with additional investments to be announced in the coming weeks.
 
Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has impacted more than 15 million young people through its character-building programs on golf courses, in schools and at youth-serving locations. The First Tee network has grown to over 150 chapters and more than 1,200 program locations across the United States as well as six international chapters in Australia, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Morocco, and Canada, delivering programs that help young people build character and develop life skills through the game of golf.
 
Golf Canada and the Golf Canada Foundation are continuously pursuing more gifts, which will allow more chapters to launch in Canada. For more information on First Tee – Canada, to get involved, or to donate, visit www.firstteecanada.ca

About the First Tee Foundation (“First Tee”)
First Tee (www.firsttee.org) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit youth development organization under the umbrella of PGA TOUR, Inc. Our mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character and instill life-enhancing values through the game of golf. Since its inception in 1997, First Tee has expanded to reach more than 3.6 million young people annually on golf courses, in schools and at youth centers. Its headquarters are in St. Augustine, Florida, USA, with programs in all 50 United States and select international locations. President George W. Bush serves as Honorary Chair.
 
About the Gragtmans Family Foundation
The Gragtmans Family Foundation’s (GFF) mission is to provide Canadian young people with the tools and social connectivity to reach their greatest potential. Founded by Ian Gragtmans, GFF acts as a supportive platform to those that display a genuine willingness to develop their integrity, tenacity and personal growth.
 
About Golf Canada Foundation
The Golf Canada Foundation is the leading source for philanthropy in Canadian golf related youth programs and is very proud of a record $1.5 million in 2019 grants which brings our total to more than $8.9 million since 2012, and $10.3 million invested in the sport since the Foundation’s inception in 1979. The foundation’s mission is to support and promote programs that increase participation in golf by engaging players of all ages and abilities across Canada. For more information about what the Golf Canada Foundation is doing to support golf in your community, visit us online at www.golfcanada.ca/foundation

About Golf Canada
Golf Canada is the National Sports Federation and governing body for golf in Canada, representing nearly 270,000 golfers and 1,400 member clubs across the country. A proud member of the Canadian Olympic Committee, Golf Canada’s vision is to be a world leader in golf and achieving the mission to increase Canadian participation and excellence For more information about what Golf Canada is doing to support golf in your community, visit www.golfcanada.ca.

Media Contacts:
Dan Pino, Senior Director, Communications
Golf Canada
C: 416-434-5525
E: dpino@golfcanada.ca