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First Tee-Naples/Collier announces “Swing Fore the Future” Gala Event

Naples, FL.–First Tee-Naples/Collier is pleased to announce that the “Swing Fore the Future” gala event will be held on Monday, February 13, at 6:00 PM. The event will be hosted by the Presenting Sponsor, Arthrex, Inc. at its corporate event center in Naples, Florida. The Swing Fore the Future gala will include cocktails, dinner, and an exciting auction of golf-related auction lots. Special Guests will include PGA Tour and Champions Tour Legends Peter Jacobsen, Bernhard Langer & Padraig Harrington and Golf Channel Host Rich Lerner.

“Working with First Tee-Naples/Collier has opened my eyes to the powerful role we can play in mentoring the next generation of leaders. Each year, 1,000 students are actively engaged in our after-school golf and character education programs, but limited access to driving ranges and golf courses has inhibited our growth. Fortunately, Collier County has offered us the opportunity to create our own home base – a Learning Center on the site of the old Golden Gate Country Club – and now it’s up to us with the help of our community to raise the funds to build it. We hope The Swing Fore the Future Gala will help us to reach our goal,” Ann Bain, Gala Chair and Board Member.

Proceeds from this event will support the ongoing capital campaign to fund the construction of First Tee Naples/Collier’s New Learning Center. The Learning Center will be part of a larger public golf venue which will include a BigShots Golf Driving Range facility and a 12-hole Nicklaus Designs golf course. Designed Pro Bono by MHK Design and Architecture and Freestyle Interiors, the center is designed with materials that absorb sound, accent lighting that provides a warm atmosphere, and resilient flooring aimed to prevent leg fatigue and will also include golf simulators, a putting area, an outdoor range, stadium seating, classrooms and event space.

This new facility will allow First Tee Naples/Collier to reach many more children from Golden Gate, East Naples, Immokalee, and other communities throughout Collier County. Executive Director Cindy Darland is confident they will be able to double the children served to 2000 within the first three years of the center’s operation. With the Learning Center, children will have a safe place where they can grow, learn, and have fun after school and on weekends. The program teaches children nine core values, valuable life skills and helps them build confidence and develop a positive character that will be beneficial as they step into adulthood.

In addition to the Presenting Sponsor Arthrex, Platinum Sponsors include Benson Blackburn, LLC, DeVoe Automotive Group, and First Foundation Bank. And Golf Digest has come in as a Silver Sponsor.

For more information about the gala event, contact First Tee Naples/Collier’s Executive Director, Cindy Darland at [email protected] or call (239) 825-4851.

About First Tee Naples/Collier:

The First Tee – Naples/Collier is a chapter of an international positive youth development organization introducing character development to young people via the game of golf. The First Tee has helped shape the lives of young people from all walks of life by teaching values like integrity, honesty, respect and perseverance. Through its programs, young people discover how skills essential to success on a golf course can also help them flourish in life. To learn more, visit