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Thursday April 17 2014
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Passing on the Palmer Legacy

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Arnold Palmer learned the game of golf from his father, Milfred J. (Deacon) Palmer. He also learned important life lessons from his father which helped make him successful on and off the golf course.

Today, his father’s legacy will now live on for many generations through a program in the Pittsburgh region that serves thousands of young kids and mirrors what his father did for him.    


The golf legend, born and raised in Latrobe, PA, was on hand at Fox Chapel Golf Club for the Constellation Senior Players Championship on Saturday to announce the establishment of the Deacon Palmer Endowment Fund that will support The First Tee of Pittsburgh. “I’d been stressing that they needed to endow the program so it was ongoing,” said Palmer, who serves as Honorary Chairman of The First Tee of Pittsburgh.  “Now that they have it where it is endowed, I am very confident it will go on.” 


The endowment has been set up thanks to the generosity of Constellation Foundation, which has made a gift of $150,000 to establish this fund which will help with the long-term sustainability of The First Tee of Pittsburgh chapter’s operating expenses.   


“We are thrilled to have the support of Constellation in establishing the Deacon Palmer Endowment Fund to benefit the children involved with The First Tee of Pittsburgh,” said Marc Field, Executive Director of The First Tee of Pittsburgh.  “The endowment will enable us to reach to kids in the local area and involve them in our Life Skills Clinics.”  


The First Tee of Pittsburgh’s program reaches over 4,000 children through its life skills clinics, programs and tournaments at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park and through outreach programs in communities throughout the Pittsburgh region. 


Palmer is very pleased to see that the game of golf can continue to grow and make a difference in the lives of children from many different backgrounds.


“I played golf in the late 30s, early 40s and 50s there were programs supported by the United States Golf Association, Western Pennsylvania Golf Association, and it pushed me.” said Palmer.  “But, again, it was limited to the kids who could get here and play and had the instruction.” 


Deacon Palmer worked at the humble Latrobe Country Club as the head groundskeeper.  He would also become the head golf professional at Latrobe, where a young Arnold Palmer accompanied his father on the course and learned many valuable life lessons.  


“I am very flattered that they’d want to endow the (First Tee) program with my father’s name. I think that’s very nice.” 


For more information about The First Tee of Pittsburgh you can visit www.thefirstteepittsburgh.org or call  (412) 321-6460.

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