Marion County Junior Golf parts ways with The First Tee

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Posted July 13, 2020 |

Marion County Junior Golf, formerly known as The First Tee of Greater Ocala, announced it is no longer doing business as The First Tee of Greater Ocala. The organization’s board decided unanimously to part ways with The First Tee organization effective immediately.

Ultimately, moving away from The First Tee organization will have no visible impact on MCJG’s efforts. MCJG remains a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization; Junior golfers have access to certified trainers and quality training materials and exercises; summer golf camps are offered at a low price, with tuition discounts available to those who need it; and, students are taught core values and healthy habits to carry with them throughout their lives.

“The decision to forego our charter membership status with The First Tee’s national organization enables Marion County Junior Golf’s fund-raising and scholarship efforts to solely benefit members of the Marion County communities,” said Ire Bethea, board chairman of Marion County Junior Golf, Inc. (MCJG). “By eliminating the operating costs of The First Tee affiliation, MCJG has the opportunity to redistribute funds and efforts to benefit more Marion County youths than ever before.”

Marion County Junior Golf, Inc. was established in March 2011, receiving its charter as The First Tee of Greater Ocala April 4, 2012. It operates out of an office at Ocala Golf Club, located at 3130 E. Silver Springs Blvd., in Ocala. MCJG’s goal remains to work with 100 percent of Marion County’s K-5 schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, youth organizations and special interest groups. MCJG operations depend solely on donations from businesses and individuals in Marion County. Since its inception, MCJG has worked with 23 K-5 Marion County schools, bringing its programming to more than 100,000 Marion County youth. MCJG’s Board of Directors include: Ire Bethea (chairman), Jason Lenhart (secretary/treasurer), Chuck Rhoades, Mike Griggs, Tom Males, Winn Keaton, T.J. Jarvis, Troy Thurston, Greg Wise (acting executive director), Kimber Corbitt and Thomas Lowe.