South Florida PGA Professionals Dedicate their 1st Home to Habitat for Humanity of Lee County

ATLANTIS, FL – A Southwest Florida family will have a place to hang their stockings this holiday. They’re getting a house thanks to Habitat for Humanity. But it wasn’t a smooth ride to move-in day for the father of four.

Marcos Maldonado is officially the owner of this home on Spruce Drive. And for him, it’s better late than never. This dedication ceremony was actually supposed to be held in October. But a family emergency almost kept him from coming home for the holidays.

With keys in hand, Marcos Maldonado is ready to start a new life with his four children in their San Carlos park home.

“This is their first home that they’ve owned and they’re very very excited about it,” said Kitty Green, President of the Habitat for Humanity of Lee and Hendry Counties.

In October, over 30 South Florida PGA Professionals traded in their putters for paint brushes and sponsored this Habitat for Humanity rehab project.

“Wnowing that we were doing something good for the Maldonado family, it was great,” said South Florida PGA Foundation President, Tom Wildenhaus. “A lot painting, a lot of cleaning. It was good stuff.”

After five days of hard work, the family should have moved in, but their journey to home ownership took an unexpected turn.

“We had something in the family got sick, kind of pushed back a little bit, but we overcame that with family and friends,” Maldonado said.

Jennica Maldonado is doing much better now and her family is looking forward to celebrating her health and happiness for many years to come.

“Just happy to have a house that I can call my own, raise my kids, and live in this nice neighborhood that we’re in,” Maldonado explained.

Marcos Maldonado is planning a Christmas Eve celebration at his new home with his family. His four children each have their rooms picked out and they’re excited to move in.

Maldonado says he plans to continue working with Habitat for Humanity in order to help others achieve the dream that is now his reality.

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DENNIS WALTERS PERFORMS FOR AMERICAN HERITAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PLANTATION

DENNIS WALTERS VISITS AMERICAN HERITAGE SCHOOL IN PLANTATION
PERFORMING AN INSPIRATIONAL SHOW FOR OVER 150 STUDENTS

ATLANTIS, Fla. – On Tuesday, December 6th Dennis Walters visited American Heritage School in Plantation to perform his inspirationaDENNIS WALTERS PERFORMS FOR AMERICAN HERITAGE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN PLANTATIONl show for over 150 local elementary school students.  This was the first show that Dennis has done at American Heritage School, and he had all of the faculty and students in awe of his trick shots and wowed by his message.

Thirty-six years ago Dennis was in an accident leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.  When this accident happened it halted all of Dennis’ plans and dreams of becoming a touring professional, and left him to learn a new way of life.  Although Dennis knew he would never walk again he was determined never to give up, and with a positive outlook he faced his tragedy as just a minor obstacle on his ongoing journey toward achieving his dreams.  In doing so, Dennis states, “I’ve always loved to play golf, so when I was injured I knew I had to find a way to still do what I loved – and I’ve been able to do that through hard work and determination.”   His message of inspiration was conveyed to all the juniors in attendance this Thursday as they sat in awe and cheered for Dennis while he performed some of his amazing trick shots from the swivel seat of his customized golf cart.

After a brief warm-up, not only was Walters able to drive the golf ball well over 200 yards while strapped to his golf cart, he was also able to perform phenomenal trick shots, including hitting the ball through fire, hitting the ball from an extra large tee, with a super small club, with a club made of rubber, a fishing rod, and a cell phone, to name a few.  Before ending his show Walters reminded each student that “you can achieve success in life and that almost anything is possible if you believe.”  Walters was then honored by a standing ovation from the entire crowd!

About the South Florida PGA Foundation

The South Florida PGA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to support the South Florida community, with a focus on junior golf, education and scholarships, and charitable gifting.  The South Florida PGA Foundation falls under the direction of the of the South Florida PGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 1,600 men and women PGA Professionals dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.

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TOP JUNIOR TOUR PLAYERS HONORED AT JUNIOR TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP

As yet another successful Junior Tour season came to a close, many players were honored for their performance on the course throughout the year.  Awards were given not only based on performance but also to those juniors who have displayed great sportsmanship and improvement throughout the season.

Performance based awards included Player of the Year, which recognizes the member who earns the most points based on their top nine tournaments throughout the year, and Low Scoring Average, which is based on the players’ average 18-hole score from their top five events.

The 2011 Boys 14-18 Player of the Year winner was Derron Peyton of Boynton Beach, who has had an outstanding season with the South Florida PGA.  Payton’s five season wins has secured him a spot with Lynn University for 2012. In the Girls 14-18 division, this year’s Player of the Year was Claudia De Anotio of Weston.  De Antonio’s season included two Overall titles as well as a playoff loss in the Tour Championship on Sunday. In the 12-13 Age Division the Players of the Year were Ty Strafaci of Davie and Emily Faulkner of Palm City respectively.  Strafaci’s season included an impressive seven wins, while Faulkner’s included four.

Peyton also won the Boys 14-18 Low Scoring Average with an amazing 69.6 stroke average, as well as Strafaci winning the 12-13 division with a 71.8 stroke average.  As for the girls, Faulkner had the lowest scoring average for the 12-13 division with a 77.2 stroke average, while Annie Dulman of Palm Beach Gardens won the Girls 14-18 division with a 73.8 stroke average. Dulman’s scoring ability will be seen at the collegiate level in 2012 at Rollins College.

Specialty awards included The Honda Classic Most Improved Player and The Ed Ficker Sportsmanship Award.  The Honda Classic Most Improved Player award is given to the player who best improves his and her playing ability from one season to the next, as well as throughout the 2011 season.  This year’s winners included Dane Cianelli of Plantation and Alexandra Papell of Boca Raton.

The Ed Ficker Sportsmanship Award is annually given to the player that best displays composure and respect for the course and fellow competitors throughout the year.  This award is named after a South Florida PGA Professional and Hall of Fame Member, Ed Ficker, who is known for his class, hard work, integrity, and caring attitude toward the game of golf.  This year Jackson Shoenfelt of Boynton Beach and Samantha Coleman of Lake Worth deservingly received this honor.

Congratulations to these fine individuals and all of our Junior Tour members on a wonderful season!

Registration for 2012 opens January 10, with the first South Florida PGA Junior Tour event being held February 4-5 at Club Med at Sandpiper Bay.

The South Florida PGA Junior Tour is proudly presented by The Honda Classic and supported by Allianz Championship, Club Med Golf Academy, Don Law Golf Academy, Palm Beach County Sports Commission, The Men’s Fun Group at Mirasol, and Titleist.

The South Florida PGA Junior Tour, run under the South Florida PGA Foundation, is committed to its mission of keeping membership and tournament-related costs low while providing first-class quality golf at thirteen championship venues throughout South Florida over the course of the Junior Tour season.  For more information on the Junior Tour, please visit the South Florida PGA website at www.sfpgagolf.com and click on Junior Golf.

The South Florida PGA Foundation is a not-for-profit organization founded to support the South Florida community, with a focus on junior golf, education and scholarships, and charitable gifting.  The South Florida PGA Foundation falls under the direction of the South Florida PGA, a not-for-profit organization comprised of over 1,600 men and women PGA Professionals dedicated to growing participation in the game of golf.