The First Tee of Cleveland hosted the seventh annual Grit, Gratitude & You Breakfast on Friday, November 16 at Tenk West Bank on the west bank of the Flats in downtown Cleveland.

The mission of the nonprofit organization is to positively impact the lives of local youth ages six to18 by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. A celebration of The First Tee of Cleveland’s positive impact along with the achievements of its participants, the breakfast included:

Presentation of The Del de Windt Leadership Award for Civic Engagement to Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, past president of Cuyahoga Community College, and her husband Walter Thornton, a founding member of The First Tee of Cleveland.

Keynote speaker Brandon Chrostowski, Founder, President and CEO of EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute.

The Doris A. Evans, M.D. Merit Scholarship Award presented to Paige Rider, a First Tee participant and senior at North Royalton High School.

The event attracted 310 guests, and more than $62,000 was raised. Proceeds will enable The First Tee of Cleveland to extend its reach to deliver its core values and life skills curriculum to more youth in Northeast Ohio.

With its main campus at Washington Golf Course in Newburgh Heights, The First Tee of Cleveland also delivers programs at: Briardale Greens Golf Course in Euclid; The Links Golf Course in Olmsted Township; and, Windmill Golf Center in Macedonia.

The First Tee of Cleveland serves participants through green grass programs, outreach programs in elementary schools and through partnerships with youth agencies across Northeast Ohio. The organization served more than 1,400 participants in 2018. Independent research has shown the curriculum has a positive impact on the participants’ grades, self-confidence and social responsibility.

Co-chairs of the 2018 breakfast were Connie Clore and Daryl Deckard. STORY SUBMITTED BY FIRST TEE OF CLEVELAND/PHOTOGRAPHS BY AL FUCHS

Past Board Chairs Ann Harlan and Mike de Windt

Brandon Chrostowski (guest speaker), Patricia LoPresti (Executive Director) and Daryl Deckard (Board Member and Breakfast Co-chair)

Irene Meyerhoefer, Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton, Walter Thornton and Trent Meyerhoefer (Board Chair)