Ben Hogan Foundation Raising Funds to Build Golf Center for Children on Northside
First Tee of Fort Worth Facility to Be Named “Ben Hogan Learning Center” in Honor of Famed Golfer
Fort Worth, Texas – July 23, 2008 — The great golf legend, Ben Hogan, came from humble roots hailing from Stephenville, Texas, his father a blacksmith, his mother a seamstress. So it is fitting that a program benefiting thousands of disadvantaged Fort Worth children is this year’s primary charity for the newly formed Ben Hogan Foundation.
The Foundation is working to raise $500,000 by the end of 2008 to build a learning center on the Northside for The First Tee of Fort Worth. It will be called the Ben Hogan Learning Center.
“We have long wanted to honor Ben Hogan in a visible way in Fort Worth, particularly since he spent so much of his life here,” said the City Mayor Mike Moncrief. “I can’t think of a better way to salute him and his family than through a golf center that will benefit thousands of Fort Worth children for decades to come.”
The First Tee offers educational programs through the game of golf that promote character development and life-enhancing values. Roughly 5,000 children are involved in the Fort Worth program, many from the Northside.
Dozens of First Tee campers showed up at today’s dedication ceremony for the 5,000-square-foot Ben Hogan Learning Center, to be built on city property adjacent to the Rockwood Golf Course along Jacksboro Highway. The center will have hitting bays, a do-it-yourself golf club repair room, library, classroom space, study hall where kids can do homework after school, and a small museum that celebrates public golf and Mr. Hogan’s legacy.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled than to have the support of the Ben Hogan Foundation,” said Kevin Long, executive director of The First Tee of Fort Worth. “We know the funds still need to be raised but we’re confident the Fort Worth community will demonstrate its support.”
“One of the biggest obstacle for kids in golf is that they don’t feel welcome particularly those kids from families who don’t have opportunities to be exposed to golf,” Long added. “This is going to be a safe, accessible environment where all kids, regardless of background, can come and be around other kids.”
The Ben Hogan Foundation is dedicated to honoring and preserving Ben Hogan’s legacy and character. It does this by promoting the game of golf for young people, providing college scholarships, supporting families of injured or fallen servicemen and women, and helping fund programs at children’s hospitals. But this year the Foundation’s primary project is to raise funds to construct The First Tee’s facility.
“Mr. Hogan had a soft spot in his heart for children, and he never forgot his roots,” said Foundation Executive Director Robert Stennett at today’s dedication. “He would be so proud to be affiliated with The First Tee, a program that helps so many kids from families that don’t have a lot of resources.”
Those wishing to support the Foundation’s effort to build the Ben Hogan Learning Center may do so by calling Stennett at 817-301-9934 or writing to P.O. Box 121518, Fort Worth, Texas, 76121-1518. Visit www.benhoganfoundation.org for more information.