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St. Peter Indian Mission School fundraising event

Mary Vitolo You can make a difference! The St. Peter Indian Mission School

is putting on a Jog/Walk-A-Thon to raise money toward critical funds for their education. The Fundraising Committee would like to invite you to participate in the First annual SPIM/SL Jog/Walk-A- Thon by pledging as much as you can for a student to walk 30 minutes and as many half miles as possible at the two front lakes across from the tennis courts in Sun Lakes Cottonwood on May 3, which was approved at the CC/PV December Board Meeting. St. Peter Indian Mission School is

a Catholic elementary school serving the families of the Gila River Indian Community. It is located six miles south and two miles west of Sun Lakes. This is the home of the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and the Pee Posh (Maricopa), although many of

the children come from other

tribes also. The Franciscan Sisters, faculty and staff members provide a loving atmosphere with quality education instilled in gospel values and tribal culture with goals of joyful living, service to others

and peacemaking that will carry over to the next generation. The enrollment is a little under 200 K-8th grades. Because of the depressed fi nancial conditions on the reservation, many families of the students cannot afford the tuition. A small portion of the school’s budget comes from the Gila River

Indian Community. Other

sources are the Phoenix Diocese and the generosity of benefactors. Students’ parents are also active in fundraising efforts. They do not receive any state or federal funding because it is a private school.

The cost of education and the

debt grows yearly, so the school must continually seek additional sources of funding. So we earnestly ask you to help us continue to meet

the needs of the

students! You may choose to make a pledge of $5/half mile or make an exact pledge. Your tax deductible, charitable contribution of $5 or more will go a long way to providing the care and quality education they so desperately need. Please make your check to St. Peter

— SCHOOL cont. on page 16 The First Tee attendees and coaches.

Ray Pulles If you live in Sun Lakes, love golf, and

are looking for a great way to give back to the game, you should consider becoming a volunteer coach with The First Tee of Phoenix at Lone Tree Golf Club. I live in Iron Oaks and fi rst found out about The First Tee

of Phoenix at the Oakwood Fall Golf Expo. At

the time, Lone Tree was getting ready

to have their grand opening ceremony on October 27, 2012 and they needed volunteers to assist the site coordinator, PGA Professional Eric Kulinna, with their programming classes. I’d seen commercials about The First Tee on Golf Channel and decided to become a volunteer. We have a great group of coaches,

young and old, both male and female. They are a fantastic group to work with and the Lone Tree programming site now has over 100 members. It’s been a delight to meet so many great young people and a privilege to help introduce them to the game I love so much. The highlight of my winter was attending the Waste Management Phoenix Open with some of our Lone Tree members and their families. During the Pro-Am on Wednesday, we got to experience what it’s like “inside the ropes” at the 16th hole. We got the full

stadium effect and were just

a few feet away from Bubba Watson and Michael Phelps when they played the hole. My experience this year has been great fun and I’ll look forward to seeing all the members and volunteers again when my wife and I return from our summer place in Minnesota. You might think that you need to be a

great golfer or have extensive coaching experience to work with The First Tee. While some golf experience is helpful, all you really need is a passion for helping others and a love of kids. The First Tee uses golf as a platform for providing young people with character-building life skills and the volunteer training the Phoenix chapter provides will teach you all you need to know to be a role model for our country’s next generation. All First Tee classes are 60 minutes in

length and are held on Wednesday evenings at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 10:00 a.m. If you’re interested in helping out, I’d encourage you to contact Coach Eric at ekulinna@thefi and head down Riggs Road to Lone Tree to watch a programming class. Everyone who volunteers with The First Tee of Phoenix must submit an application, pass a background check and complete four hours of volunteer coach training. So before making a commitment, take a moment to learn more about The First Tee of Phoenix at their website www.thefi rstteephoenix. org where you can get more information about becoming a volunteer. The First Tee of Phoenix is a not-for-

profi t organization made possible by The Thunderbirds that teaches the life skills of honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and respect through the game of golf to young people who would not otherwise be able to have affordable access to the game.  | SUN LAKES SPLASH | May 2013

Become a volunteer for First Tee of Phoenix

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