Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Day at East Lake

As an avid golfer, I got the opportunity to play my favorite course in the metropolitan area on Tuesday - East Lake Golf Club.  The experience is second to none for reasons that extend far beyond golf.  If you're not familiar with the East Lake "miracle," click on the photo below. 

Kayla McClendon
The 12-minute, 39-second news video, which aired on CNBC, chronicles how Atlanta developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins turned the most violent, poverty-stricken neighborhood in the metro area, into a centerpiece of the city.  When Cousin's project began in the mid-90's, only five percent of the neighborhood children met Georgia school standards.  Today, 98 percent meet or exceed the standards.  Tuesday I had the opportunity to meet one of those students, an impressive 15-year old named Kayla McClendon.  A tenth grader who's part of the First Tee of East Lake, Kayla will hit the ceremonial first shot at this year's Tour Championship by Coca Cola.  Kayla spoke of how the first tee program not only taught her golf skills but life skills - a very impressive young lady who's surely got a scholarship waiting in the wings.  
To learn more about how you can help the wonderful programs going on at East Lake, click East Lake Foundation.  Of course, you can always buy a ticket and attend the Tour Championship, September 22-25, and watch golf's best.  Admission is free to all military, and you don't have to leave your cell phone at home - they are welcome.  As long as you keep them on silent.
Oh by the way, I sank a short putt on my final hole to break 90!

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