The Delta Dental State Open of Virginia officially opened today with a significant donation to youth development programming in the region. Delta Dental representatives presented $17,000 to The First Tee of Roanoke Valley this morning at Ballyhack Golf Club.
Following the donation, 75 area youth from The First Tee of Roanoke Valley and its partnership programs participated in a clinic with local golf professionals, including Virginia Tech’s Amanda Hollandsworth, who recently qualified for the U.S. Women’s Open, and Mark Lawrence, who co-hosted the clinic. Partner programs included Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Virginia, the YMCA Afterschool Summer Camp and area PGA Junior League teams.
“Our youth continue to benefit from the support this tournament provides and the developmental programming it funds,” said Jennifer Blackwood, Executive Director of The First Tee of Roanoke Valley. “Today’s clinic is a fun opportunity for local kids to hear from real golf professionals about how to play the game and what golf has meant to them, their educations and their careers,” said Blackwood.
Proceeds from the tournament are used to fund youth development programs at The First of Roanoke Valley. “We organize programs throughout the year focused on imparting valuable life lessons through a game where players call penalties on themselves and report their own scores. Every putt provides an opportunity to teach and those lessons extend well beyond the green,” said Blackwood.
Established in 1924, the Delta Dental State Open of Virginia has been played at Ballyhack Golf Club since 2014. Since that time, the tournament has generated nearly $83,000 of support for The First Tee of Roanoke Valley, contributing annually to more than 8,000 children building life skills through golf.
“Delta Dental of Virginia is headquartered right here in Roanoke, so we are thrilled to be a part of helping develop the youths who live in our own communities,” said Chris Pyle, vice president of marketing for Delta Dental. “The exciting golf that will take place in the next three days will be fun to watch, but connecting local youths with these professionals and supporting the ongoing programming these kids will enjoy throughout the year is the real win.”
Delta Dental State Open of Virginia tournament play begins Thursday, with the lead group teeing off at 7:30 a.m. The field of 144 competitors take on 54 holes of exciting stroke play.