Brothers Greg and Dana Jetter have always been about family, as well as growing the game of golf.
When the chance came to launch a First Tee program at their Pleasanton Golf Center facilities – the practice center, as well as the 9-hole course, both located on the Alameda County Fairgrounds – it was a natural.
Now with the incredible community and local business support, it has grown to one of the elite First Tee programs in the country. The program nationally is for kids 7-17, but the Tri-Valley chapters starts as young as five.
Before the First Tee became a reality, the Jetter’s started an organization called Partners 4 Golf and that evolved into the First Tee Program – and an extended family.
It has become a passion for the two brothers and it has also become a passion for captains of industry in the area. One look at the Board of Directors speaks to the support they have received.
Tim Angst of Hewlett Packard, Matt Beinke of Blackhawk Properties, Troy French of Wells Fargo, Don Garman of Mirador Capital Partners, Steve Gilmour of Leisure Sports Inc., Alan Hyman of Fremont Bank, Jeffrey Mackenzie of Simpson Manufacturing, Layne Marceau of Shea Homes, Deborah McKeehan (former City Manager of Pleasanton), Jeff Richards of GGV Capital, Steven Rivera of Bayside Interiors, Mike Scarpelli of ServiceNow, George Schmitt Jr. of ReadyJetGo, Gary Storm of vCom Solutions, Troy Van Sloten (a local CPA), Ron Vyse of Wells Fargo, Phil Wente of Wente Vineyards, Dana Dormann, Keith West, Emily Wagner, Steve King, Michael Moone, Sr. and Todd Callahan. are those that serve on the Board along with the Jetter brothers and are the driving force behind all that has become the First Tee of the Tri-Valley.
“The help and support we get from our partners and Board members is amazing,” said Dana Jetter. “We have been able to grow our program because of them.”
What started out as using existing facilities to promote the First Tee has grown into the development of a separate facility. Located in the middle of the race track at the Fairgrounds, the program has its own office location, as well as dedicated practice facilities.
It’s a wonderful facility and one that would not be possible without many on the Board of Directors. Moving forward the next phase calls for development of a 4-5-hole course for the kids.
But the program has become much bigger than just what goes on at the center in Pleasanton. Part of the outreach program – there are 15 programs in place – works with over 30 schools from Fremont to San Ramon.
In total, the First Tee of the Tri-Valley had a total participation of over 15,000 kids in 2017 and is on pace to exceed that number this year.
That type of reach takes a lot of effort and capital. The yearly operating budget for The First Tee of the Tri-Valley is $800,000, so fund raising continues to be a high priority.
The group also has a scholarship program in place, allowing more kids a chance to become involved.
There are a multitude of ways to get involved and there are three major fund-raising efforts for the chapter and all three are still to come this year.
First there is the Twilight Dinner and Auction at Barone’s in Pleasanton on May 17. Next up is the Wente One Stick Tournament and Dinner at The Course at Wente Vineyards on June 27. Finally, the Pro-Am Invitational at the Castlewood Country Club takes place in August 20.
In addition, there are sponsorship/naming options available for the First Tee campus. These include the campus itself, as well as the office, driving range, driving range awning, putting green and greenside bunker.
Investing in the First Tee is investing in the future. The program provides young people a variety of opportunities to learn life skills that can help them grow as individuals and prepare for the future. Participants learn to appreciate diversity, resolve conflicts, build confidence and set goals for their future both on the golf course and in their everyday life.
The center of the First Tee program are the nine core values that define what is the First Tee. They have always been key ingredients to the development of child, but in this day and age when accountability with the younger generation is questionable at best, these core values ring even more important.
The Nine Core Values are – Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Confidence, Responsibility, Perseverance, Courtesy, Judgement.
For more information on The First Tee of the Tri-Valley, to register for the fund raisers or to become involved in other ways, please go to www.thefirstteetrivalley.org.