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WARREN Official pushes for kids' golf program



Published: Wed, January 30, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



A meeting will be set up in March so lawmakers can hear more about the program.

WARREN -- A city councilman is hoping young golfers have a chance to learn lessons that transcend the course.

Dan Polivka, D-at large, is trying to lure to Warren a nonprofit Florida group that makes money available to municipal golf courses that implement a golf program for kids.

He said the program would be perfect for the city-owned Avalon South course in Howland.

The St. Petersburg-based organization First Tee gives up to $100,000 to municipalities that offer the program.

First Tee is available at more than 500 courses in the United States and 100 in the Midwest, alone.

Background: First Tee started in 1997 and has the backing of the U.S. Golf Association, the LPGA and former president George Bush.

Polivka said he met with First Tee representatives in St. Augustine.

They'll be in Ohio in March and Polivka said he's going to set up a meeting so city council can get more information about the organization.

An executive of the organization is the son of the legendary heavyweight boxing champion Joe Lewis, Polivka said.

First Tee promotes community service and offers mentoring capabilities so young people can develop skills, interests, goals, a positive attitude and the power to make effective decisions.

Polivka said it teaches life skills, not just golf.

The city has fought in recent years to open city parks that closed in 2000 when budget cuts were implemented.

A First Tee program will provide kids a positive outlet while encouraging fitness and recreation, the councilman said.




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