Organization tees off fundraising effort

Local residents participate in the silent auction for The First Tee. / Sarah Bleau

Just like the atmosphere on the golf course, The First Tee's auction was silent during their fall fundraiser.

Companies donated a variety of golf-themed gifts for the silent auction including golf bags, golf clubs and prints of scenery from the Doublegate Country Club golf course that are signed by LPGA Champion Nancy Lopez.

The First Tee board members say all of the money raised during Thursday's event stays in Albany to fund the program.

"Our program offers a kid who doesn't have the opportunity to play golf the chance to play golf, but in order to that they have to take our classes. We're trying to make good citizens out of them," says Board President Jim Rusin.

The classes the students take before playing golf with The First Tee talk about subjects such as sportsmanship and honesty.

The First Tee is also participating with Girls Inc to recruit 50 girls to receive scholarships to participate in the program.

If you are interested in volunteering or donating to The First Tee, you can call their local office at (229) 888-0800.