I am pleased to inform you that our Foundation established to honor Mr. Hogan continues to prosper, grow and honor his great legacy. As we enter 2015 and our eighth year as a charity, we wanted to take a minute and report to you the progress we made in 2014 and our plans for 2015.
Ben Hogan Foundation’s 2014 Accomplishments:
We expanded our support of The First Tee of Fort Worth. As you know, we believe that Mr. Hogan would be proud of this support, as the program not only promotes the game of golf, but also helps our youth learn the values that will shape their character for the rest of their lives. The First Tee of Fort Worth continues to grow and has the highest retention rate in the world. This past year, we were 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:
- The College Admission and Financial Aid Seminar
- The College Fair
- Advise Texas College Counseling Program
In addition, the Ben Hogan Foundation was proud to provide a grant of $33,516 to pay the scholarship costs of all the disadvantaged youth (342 kids) who attended the Life Skills programs in 2014.
We awarded our eleventh college scholarship in partnership with the Northern Texas PGA to J’Lynn Vacek. Aside from excelling in golf, J’Lynn was an AP Scholar and graduated with a 3.8 GPA from Centennial. She has been accepted into the business school at Texas A&M. This scholarship honors our Founding Patrons: Gene and Moselle Kouri.
Our scholarship program was expanded with the introduction of the Ben Hogan Foundation Mentor Scholarship. In partnership with Texas Wesleyan University, The First Tee of Fort Worth and a student Mentor, the Foundation created our first four-year scholarships. Congratulations to Anthony Harper, Jr. and Jacey Patton, who were our first recipients.
We want to thank Mr. Mark Kalpakis and Mr. Dean Williams for supporting this program and becoming the first two Mentors for the Ben Hogan Foundation.
We hosted our second Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood with PepsiCo as our presenting sponsor. During the two-day event, we had 200 soldiers in the golf tournament and over 100 kids in the Youth Clinic. We served the soldiers and their families breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as provided entertainment, gifts, and great prizes. Most of the day was spent saying “thank you” to those who provide the freedoms we enjoy every day.
The Foundation was the principal sponsor for Camp Broncho 2014. It is hard to believe that this was our seventh year to pay all the fees for the children who attend camp. This year, we also increased the number of children from 100 to 120. As you may recall, Camp Broncho is a summer camp for kids with acute asthma. At Camp Broncho, kids who can’t enjoy the outdoors are allowed to be a kid for a week – while at the same time learning about their disease and how to best manage it. At Camp Broncho, the kids hiked, rope repelled, camped, fished, swam, learned golf, played games, and basically just enjoyed being a kid.
This summer, we were fortunate to be one of three beneficiaries of the second Texas National Golf Tournament put on by Pat Green and the Pat Green Foundation. Played at historic Pebble Beach and Spyglass golf courses, the tournament was truly something special. And our friend Pat Green put on one of the best performances of his life! For those who participated, it was a memorable weekend. For the three charities involved, the tournament raised over $500,000.
We proudly hosted the 6th Ben Hogan Invitational presented by Justin Golf. It was a pleasure working with our friends from Justin Golf. We want to thank Mr. Charles Coody for joining us that morning for breakfast to kick-off the tournament day. With soldiers as our honored guests, inclusion of kids from The First Tee as caddies, and great entertainment, we think this year’s tournament was our best ever. Congratulations to our champions who each won the crystal “Hands of the Hawk” (the most beautiful trophy in all of golf):
- Mr. Reid Parrish (Pro)
- Mr. Andy Eldridge
- Mr. Mitchel Hansen
- Mr. James Peebles
- Mr. George Seagraves
We were pleased to welcome Mr. Kevin Long to our Honorary/Advisory Board.
The Ben Hogan Breakfast Clubs continued. These fun, light and social breakfasts offer us an opportunity to update friends on the Ben Hogan Foundation and upcoming events. We are grateful to Mr. Jay Novacek, Dr. David Cook and Mr. David Graham for being our guest speakers in 2014. If you have not been to a Ben Hogan Breakfast Club meeting, contact the Foundation. We would love to have you join us.
We proudly presented the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin with a replica of Mr. Hogan’s Hickok Belt, which he was awarded in 1953 as the greatest athlete of the year.
If you have not had an opportunity to visit the Ben Hogan Museum of Dublin, Texas, it is well worth the trip. Also, mark your calendars for this year’s Cow Pasture Golf Tournament, taking place June 5-6. Thank you to John Colgin, Sonny Burgess and Karen Wright for creating “Forgotten Fairways.” It is a beautiful song and fitting tribute to Mr. Hogan.
Looking forward, 2015 should prove to be just as interesting and rewarding. Our Ben Hogan Breakfast Clubs will continue, with planning underway for our first meeting this spring.
On March 20 – and for the third year – the Ben Hogan Foundation will sponsor the biggest golf tournament on the largest Army base in the world. We want to recognize and thank our presenting sponsor, The Miles Foundation, for their support and partnership. The Ben Hogan Classic at Fort Hood presented by The Miles Foundation will host 200 soldiers for golf, food, entertainment, and gifts. We plan to expand the Youth Clinic to over 250 this year. This is a wonderful way for us to say “thank you” to the soldiers and their families who so proudly serve our great country.
The Foundation will fund two additional NTPGA Junior Golf Foundation scholarships and award our third full scholarship to a deserving participant of The First Tee of Fort Worth.
We are committed to supporting our eighth Camp Broncho and supporting the Ben Hogan Award in May. We are excited about the 2015 Ben Hogan Invitational scheduled for October 9 at Shady Oaks Country Club. And we will continue to work with our friends from Dublin, Texas, to expand the Ben Hogan Museum.
In April, we will be proud to honor Mr. Hogan in Chicago with his induction into the Irish American Hall of Fame.
In 2015, a number of events are planned across the country to expand the Foundation and include new friends in our celebration of the life of Ben Hogan.
The Foundation’s website, www.benhoganfoundation.org, also underwent a major makeover. The new look will debut in early 2015.
We appreciate the opportunity to update you on what the Foundation is doing to honor Mr. Hogan. We truly believe we are celebrating the life of Ben Hogan, promoting the game of golf, 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.
Robert Stennett, Executive Director
Ben Hogan Foundation