The First Tee of Phoenix receives $500,000 donation

The largest donation in organization’s history

Herman Lewkowitz, Board Chairman of The First Tee of Phoenix, announced the organization received a $500,000 gift from a husband and wife with ties to the Valley. The gift will be used to expand The First Tee of Phoenix’s various in-school and after-school programs, as well as provide membership scholarships and organizational supplies to The First Tee of Phoenix. The gift is the largest private donation The First Tee of Phoenix has received to date.

“This is an extraordinary gift which will help our growth efforts immensely,” said Lewkowitz. “We can’t thank the donors enough for their tremendous support of The First Tee of Phoenix and the young people in our programs.”

The bulk of the $500,000 gift will be allocated towards expansion of The First Tee of Phoenix’s in-school and after-school programs, specifically the National School Program and DRIVE Program. The First Tee of Phoenix National School Program provides Maricopa County elementary school physical education teachers the tools, training, equipment and lesson plans that integrate golf skills, motor skills and The First Tee Nine Core Values (honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility and perseverance) into their in-school physical education classes. The gift will allow The First Tee of Phoenix to expand their National School Program by 93 schools and more than 60,000 students.

“It was an easy decision to make,” said the donors, who made the gift anonymously. They are part-time Phoenix-area residents from the Midwest, the husband graduated from ASU. “We’ve lived in the Valley on a part-time basis for seven years now, and we’re very aware of the tremendous impact The First Tee of Phoenix has on Valley youth. We see how much fun the kids have and how they grow and mature around the game of golf. It gives my wife and me great joy to make this donation.”

The DRIVE program partners with after-school organizations like the YMCA and Boys & Girls Club to integrate engaging, safe and fun activities that promote wellness and health-enhancing lifestyles through the positive values associated with the game of golf. The gift will increase the overall reach of the DRIVE program significantly, adding 25 new after-school organizations and nearly 4,000 new students.

Overall, The First Tee of Phoenix projects the endowment will lead to 1,200 new members.

“The ability to bolster our in-school and after-school programs is paramount to growing our positive influence in the community,” said Kevin Terry, Executive Director of The First Tee of Phoenix. “We’re extremely grateful for this gift and honored to be a part of something so special.”

The remaining monies will support capacity building for The First Tee of Phoenix including the provision of scholarships for young people and families to cover membership registration fees, supplies to support the 15 programming facilities throughout Maricopa County, the onboarding of new staff positions and 150 new trained teachers and youth leaders.

Annual membership to The First Tee of Phoenix is just $100 – scholarships are available. The First Tee of Phoenix also accepts equipment and membership donations. Sign up now by visiting, or by calling 602.305.7655.