Tuesday at The Honda Classic is always very eventful. This year, Shannon Miller who was once the United States Most Decorated Olympic Gymnast was the keynote speaker and the Women's Leadership Forum. First Tee Participant of the Year, Jayda Dookie and Annika Collado were invited to attend to the breakfast where they were able to meet Ms. Miller and Barbara Nicklaus (that's Jack's wife).
Jayda said Ms. Miller was very inspirational and her lesson about having a gold medal mindset was one that she will use as she prepares to enter college next year. She also appreciated her encouragement to keep a great team around you if you want to stay positive.
Annika agreed that it was definitely worth taking the day off from school. She will be applying the gold medal mindset this week as she works hard to catch up on assignments the rest of the week before returning to caddy at Pine Tree Golf Club. One of her other highlights was meeting Barbara Nicklaus.
Later in the day, several Beaver Golf students attended a free clinic hosted by First Tee. Dennis Walters and Gussie put on another wonderful show and Professional Golfer Andrew Kozan shared some insights into how he decided to pursue a career in golf. He cautioned the golfers that while golf is fun, you need to treat it like a job if you want to make it your career which means dedicating a significant portion of your day to practice if you really want to have a chance. He also encouraged the golfers to eat healthy and get fit because without your body a golfer does not have a career.
The clinic closed with two First Tee participants exhibiting club head speed with the driver. Mateo Muñiz was one of those, Carl Mistretta, Executive Director of First Tee-Florida Gold Coast was very complimentary of his talent and Beaver Golf in his introduction.
Finally, all of the participants were able to celebrate 42 years of The Honda Classic Cares support of First Tee by posing for a picture with a check for $1.6 million which represents the total amount that the program received over those years. Thank you Honda, you have been amazing.