I am pleased to inform you that our foundation established to honor Mr. Hogan continues to prosper, grow and accomplish projects that truly honor his great legacy. As we begin to say goodbye to 2015 and enter our ninth year as a charity, we wanted to take a minute and report to you the progress we made in 2015 and discuss a few of our plans for 2016.
Ben Hogan Foundation’s 2015 Updates:
The First Tee of Fort Worth continues to be one of the foundation’s primary projects. This is the case because we believe there is so much symmetry between the two organizations. Mr. Hogan loved children, believed in promoting the game of golf, and was an iconic example of a man with strong core values. Because of The First Tee’s Nine Core Values and desire to grow the game of golf, we are confident this is an organization that Mr. Hogan would want us to support. The First Tee of Fort Worth continues to grow and has the highest retention rate in the world. We are truly growing young adults and positively influencing our future.
This past year, the Ben Hogan Foundation was very pleased to work with the staff of The First Tee to improve the transition of our kids after high school. As a result, we sponsored three initiatives to help this transition:
1) The College Admission and Financial Aid Seminar
2) The College Fair
3) Advise Texas College Counseling Program
And for the second year in a row, the Ben Hogan Foundation paid for all the young people who could not afford the fees of The First Tee. On Dec. 8, the Ben Hogan Foundation presented a check to The First Tee of Fort Worth for $40,200 to pay for all 402 kids in 2015 who otherwise could not afford to participate in The First Tee activities.
The Board of the Foundation has approved and is working hard on an award from the Ben Hogan Foundation to the participants at The First Tee that achieve “Ace” level certification – the highest level that can be achieved through The First Tee.
After winning 15 tournaments in less than three years, Ben Hogan left the PGA Tour and joined the Army Air Corps in 1942 to proudly serve his country. Mr. Hogan always had a warm place in his heart for the men and women who serve this nation so bravely. It is with this spirit that the foundation designated its fourth initiative: support of the military.
In 2013, the Ben Hogan Foundation, in collaboration with the leadership at Fort Hood, created the Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood. In 2014, we were proud to have our friends from the Miles Foundation join us to honor our soldiers and their families.
Our mission with the Classic is very simple: Give soldiers and their families a day off, serve them for a change, and tell them how much we appreciate all they do for us. At the Ben Hogan Classic, the soldiers enjoy a great tee gift package; breakfast, lunch and dinner; games on the course; a fun day of golf; entertainment; and much more. We also host a youth clinic for the kids of the soldiers with help from The First Tee of Fort Worth.
At a recent meeting with the leadership of Fort Hood, the Ben Hogan Foundation was informed that the Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood presented by the Miles Foundation is the premier military appreciation event at Fort Hood each year. Next year, we will host the fourth annual event on Friday, April 22.
Take a major growing university (Texas Wesleyan University [TWU]), a charitable foundation (the Ben Hogan Foundation), a successful business person (the mentor), and a young person from The First Tee of Fort Worth, and you have one of the most unique partnerships in all the world. That is exactly what we did with the Ben Hogan Foundation Mentor Scholarship.
For a young person participating in The First Tee of Fort Worth, it represents an opportunity for a full, renewable scholarship that includes all books, fees and tuition for four years of college. For a mentor, it represents an opportunity to give back to the community and be personally involved with the formal education of a young adult. For TWU, it represents an opportunity to bring some of the best and brightest young adults into their university while partnering with one of the premier foundations in America. For the Ben Hogan Foundation, it furthers our mission of providing scholarships to deserving young adults.
This spring the Ben Hogan Foundation awarded its third Ben Hogan Foundation Mentor Scholarship to Mr. Conner Parish. Conner was born and raised in Fort Worth. He was an active participant in The First Tee of Fort Worth and the immediate past president of the Junior Advisory Committee. He is an avid golfer and currently a member of the TWU golf team. He is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance at TWU. His mentor for this scholarship is Mr. Robert Stennett. Conner joins Anthony Harper II and Jacey Patton as young adults who are currently attending college on a Ben Hogan Foundation Mentor Scholarship. Special thanks and recognition to Mr. Mark Kalpakis and Mr. Dean Williams, who are Jacey and Anthony’s mentors, respectively.
Although Mr. Hogan did not have the opportunity to pursue his education due to economic misfortunes, he always realized the importance of a formal education and the positive impact that it has on a young person’s life. It is in this spirit that the Ben Hogan Foundation is pleased to provide educational opportunities for young adults wishing to obtain a college education.
The Ben Hogan Foundation is pleased to continue its partnership with North Texas University to offer scholarships to deserving young adults. This year the Foundation sponsored three scholarships, which is the largest number awarded to date in one year. This brings our total scholarships with the NTPGA to 14.
Mr. Dudley Simms received the Ben Hogan/John and Cami Goff Scholarship.
Mr. Eric Seutter received the Ben Hogan/Pat and Kori Green Scholarship.
Ms. Lindsey Williams received the Ben Hogan/Sharon Rea Scholarship.
Congratulations to these three winning recipients.
When Ben Hogan passed in 1997, he left a substantial amount of money to Cook Children’s Medical Center. With this guidance, the board of the foundation has paid each child’s fee for camp since 2008. Camp Broncho is a unique partnership between the Ben Hogan Foundation, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and Cook Children’s Medical Center. It is the only camp of its kind in North Texas and provides a fun and educational experience for children diagnosed with acute asthma. This year, we had 98 children from the Dallas/Fort Worth area attend camp. During the week, the kids played lots of fun games, rope repelled, fished, canoed, prepared skits, enjoyed arts and crafts, and numerous other fun activities. Camp Broncho is about letting a kid be a kid for a week. It also helps develop their self-esteem, knowing that lots of other kids are going through exactly what they are experiencing. Perhaps the most important benefit of camp is the asthma education that goes on each day, as asthma is a manageable disease. Over the past eight years, the Ben Hogan Foundation has paid for 820 kids to attend Camp Broncho. We can’t wait to do it all over again next August!
The June 2015 golf outing at PAR Country Club at Lake Proctor was a huge success, due in part to the Ben Hogan Foundation folks who came in large numbers to show their support. It was such a treat to have Bruce Devlin, Tom Stites, Jennifer Alexander and the guys from the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company as speakers for the evening program. The foundation surprised them with a wonderful gift that brought tears to the eyes of their loyalists: one of Mr. Hogan’s beautiful ties, framed and ready to take its place alongside the oil portrait of Mr. Hogan.
One of the museum’s new exhibits is from Glen Garden Country Club. This exhibit helps tell the story of the very difficult early days of Mr. Hogan. They are also awaiting delivery of a display case for the beautiful 5-iron that Tom Stites gave us. (Only two people have ever hit this club: Mr. Hogan and Tiger Woods.)
This summer, the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin was featured on “The Texas Bucket List” and visitor numbers saw a substantial increase after it aired. The museum and their June golf tournament will also be featured on Steve Elkington’s Secret Golf program.
There are future plans for a major museum expansion, a billboard just before the new loop, and a life-size backdrop of the Hogan Blacksmith Shop at our Hogan minipark.
If you are a Hogan fan and have not seen the museum, you need to take a trip down to Dublin!
What is in store for the Ben Hogan Foundation in 2016? That has proven to be a more challenging question each year than we ever thought would be the case. But this is a good thing, because the surprises are all very positive and helpful for the foundation.
What we do know is this: Our friends like our Ben Hogan Breakfast Clubs and we will continue them in 2016. We are very pleased that our first meeting will be on Feb. 23 with our speaker being none other than country recording artist Clay Walker. Walker has had four of his 11 albums reach Platinum status!
We are looking forward to hosting our 4th Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood presented by the Miles Foundation in April, awarding our 4th Ben Hogan Foundation Mentor Scholarship in the spring, awarding a number of partial scholarships in partnership with the NTPGA, hosting our ninth Camp Broncho in August, and many more exciting events to honor Mr. Hogan.
We are very excited about a partnership with the Devlin Foundation this spring, called “A Night with the Aussies,” in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bruce Devlin’s win at Colonial. We also have commitments from this year’s World Golf Hall of Fame inductee, David Graham, and U.S. Open champion Geoff Ogilvy. We may even have a few more Aussies there to surprise you. Look for more information about this dinner, which will occur during Colonial week.
In celebration of Oakland Hills’ 100th anniversary, the Ben Hogan Foundation will host a golf tournament for its membership called the Monster ’51. Oakland Hills has done a wonderful job celebrating its Hogan legacy. As you may remember, Hogan won the 1951 U.S. Open there and nicknamed the course “The Monster” in his post-tournament interview. Proceeds of this event will benefit the Ben Hogan Foundation and Evans Scholars.
And it doesn’t get any better than Pebble Beach in the summer. In partnership with the Pat Green Foundation, we will support the 2016 Texas National at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Thanks to Pat Green and his foundation, the two previous tournaments were a great success and something our supporters truly look forward to every two years.
We are already hard at work planning the Ben Hogan Invitational presented by the USA + Foundation. We were thrilled this year to reach a four-year agreement with USA + as our title sponsor. If you like a competitive atmosphere and great golf, join us next fall. We promise you and your guests will have a great experience.
We appreciate the opportunity to update you on what the foundation is doing to honor Ben Hogan. We truly believe we are celebrating the life of Mr. Hogan in the way he would want us to: by promoting the game of golf, helping young people, and making a difference in the communities where we live. Please know how much we appreciate your support; we know how fortunate we are to have this legacy and your patronage in our journey.
All the best,
Robert Stennett, Executive Director
Ben Hogan Foundation