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Executive Director's Message

Dear Community Champion,

It’s hard to believe that summer has come to a close. This week, the 2019-20 PGA TOUR season also concludes in Atlanta at the TOUR Championship, where we will crown a new FedExCup Champion. Orchestrating the PGA TOUR’s return to competition after a three-month hiatus required tremendous work, collaboration, persistence and innovation. I am incredibly proud of the entire PGA TOUR team and all stakeholders who made our return possible, in a safe and steadfast manner. Golf’s return has provided a sense of normalcy to our fans around the world while affording our organization the opportunity to make continued investments in communities, economies and charities. In a year that has been full of ups and downs, we have remained steadfast in our commitment to supporting the communities where we play, deploying many new and creative methods along the way.

As we near the finish line for the PGA TOUR season, preparations for THE PLAYERS 2021 are already well underway. We still have a lot of work ahead of us and continue to stay diligent and disciplined, both in following health and safety protocols and in living up to the values that the game of golf, and our championship, represent.

As the PGA TOUR’s flagship event, THE PLAYERS is the highest representation of our organization and northeast Florida community. As a result, we seek to deliver a gold standard championship every single year, inside and outside the ropes. THE PLAYERS 2021 is no exception.  It will require strong collaboration with all of you – our vast network of individuals, businesses, community leaders, vendors, volunteers, sponsors, and partners – who share our mission and passion for a game that unifies and inspires.

My team and I thank you in advance for your continued support and look forward to reconnecting with all of you soon.
 
All the best,
 
Jared Rice
Executive Director, THE PLAYERS

A Round to Remember - First Tee golfers get their defining moment on the Stadium Course
A few weeks ago, Marsh Landing Country Club General Manager Chet Stokes gave four First Tee participants the opportunity of a lifetime – the chance to tee it up at THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Stokes, a former volunteer coach for the First Tee, and Marsh Landing Country Club donated a foursome to First Tee of North Florida. It was the first time the First Tee golfers played the Stadium Course.
 

Contributing to the experience, PGA TOUR employees served as caddies – affording each golfer the opportunity to connect and learn from industry professionals. Among the highlights was Len Mattiace, two-time PGA TOUR winner, Nease graduate, Ponte Vedra Beach resident and First Tee ambassador, who joined the group and offered swing tips and advice. THE PLAYERS veteran announcer/TPC Sawgrass team member Doug Kidd announced each of the golfers on the first tee.
 
Additionally, TPC Sawgrass provided customized caddie bibs with each golfer’s name, which they were able to take home as an additional memento from this dream round. Check out this TV segment and this article for  more highlights. Click here to read more about this experience.
Volunteer Spotlight: Marge Pracek

Marge poses with THE PLAYERS 2020 Volunteer Chair Andy Carroll

Marge Pracek was born in Moline, Illinois and grew up across the Mississippi River in Davenport, Iowa. She moved to Jacksonville over 30 years ago to pursue a career at Computer Power Inc, currently known as Black Knight Inc., as a mortgage banking consultant, traveling throughout the United States to help clients utilize the technology for their businesses. Marge has since retired from Black Knight Inc, but works part-time as an independent consultant.

2021 will mark Marge’s 14th year as a member of THE PLAYERS Volunteer Family.  Her years on the road traveling for business made her realize she wanted to get more involved with the Jacksonville community, and that’s when she made the decision to volunteer at THE PLAYERS.  She currently serves as the Volunteer Personnel Chair (aka, the woman who keeps registration and shift counts running!) but has also served on the Admissions and Apparel Committees.  Each year, Marge looks forward to the first day Volunteer Village opens.: 
 
“Getting to see all the ‘family’ again and meet the new volunteers in person is the absolute best.”

Luckily for Marge, her role as Volunteer Personnel Chair keeps her connected year-round with tournament staff, volunteer leadership and volunteers, which gives her the opportunity to stay in touch with the wonderful friends she has made over the years. 
 

 
THE PLAYERS isn’t the only golf tournament where Marge volunteers. You can also find her at the Tim Tebow Golf Classic, The Junior PLAYERS and the Annika Invitational.  She is looking forward to adding the Constellation FURYK & FRIENDS PGA TOUR Champions Tournament to her list of tournaments in October 2021.

When Marge is not consulting, or working countless hours to ensure golf tournaments run smoothly, she loves to camp in the Pacific northwest, ski in Colorado, visit the Caribbean islands with her Iowa friends or discover international destinations on her own. She is also an avid road cyclist, having participated in several MS 150 bike rides in Iowa.

 
Please take some time to thank Marge the next time you see her.  Without her, volunteer registration* would not operate as efficiently as it does.

* Volunteer registration information and details will be located on theplayers.com/volunteer in the near future. Please check that website periodically for more information.
Beyond the Ropes: THE PLAYERS Volunteer Leadership makes a special delivery to Jewish Family & Community Services
Long after the final putt is made at THE PLAYERS Championship, the impact of PGA TOUR’s flagship event extends throughout the year. With a commitment to support the communities in and near where it hosts its internationally-recognized tournament, THE PLAYERS has supported nonprofit organizations in the five-county area with more than $100 million. Each month, we will spotlight a charity making a difference in the lives of citizens and communities.
 

In early August, THE PLAYERS team learned that Jewish Family & Community Services (JFCS) needed school supplies for the children they serve throughout Northeast Florida. As a result, THE PLAYERS Volunteer Leadership gathered together to assist JFCS in helping students get a great start to the school year.  Donned in masks and compliant with social distancing protocols, eight Red and Blue Coats met at the southside facility to deliver backpacks filled with school supplies. While there, the leaders met with the CEO to learn more about the comprehensive services JFCS provides the 17,000 youth it serves each year.

Check out this ‘thank you’ video we received from Julian!

 

 
About JFCS: Jewish Family & Community Services also provides quality social and community services across the life spectrum to enhance the lives of children, adults, seniors and families coping with challenges that arise throughout the lifecycle. Guided by Jewish values, with a rich tradition of nearly 100 years, the services are available to everyone in the First Coast Community.  Services and programs that JFCS provides include the following: direct client services, emergency assistance, counseling, adoption assistance for birth mothers and families, child safety and prevention support, senior services, education and outreach, Jewish Healing Network, dropout prevention for middle school students and much more.

Click
here to learn more about JFCS .
News to Know
 
St. Johns County CARES
On August 20, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners launched St. Johns County CARES, a program designed to help local businesses, residents and nonprofit organizations respond to and recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.  St. Johns County CARES provides grants to eligible applicants who suffered loss of revenue or income or incurred unexpected expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses may qualify for up to $20,000 in grant funding and residential households may qualify for up to $5,000 in grant funding.

Applications for small businesses and residents are currently being accepted. Applications for nonprofit organizations will be available in the coming weeks.  For more information, please visit
www.sjcfl.us/sjccares


(Much) Better than Most!!
Since 1982, only nine professional golfers have made a hole-in-one on the famous Island Green 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass during THE PLAYERS Championship. But on Tuesday, September 1, during City Rescue Mission’s golf tournament on the Stadium Course, Wade Skinner not only added his name to an elite list of golfers who have aced the Island Green, but he also took home a brand new car, too!! Congratulations, Wade! And thank you to the Nimnicht Family of Dealers, longtime volunteers at THE PLAYERS, who donated the new car! Sorry Tiger, Wade’s shot was much ‘better than most’!
Photos of the Month
A few weeks ago, THE PLAYERS Past Tournament Chairmen – the Red Coats – were joined by members of the volunteer leadership team – the Blue Coats – to deliver backpacks to Jewish Family and Community Services.



Look Who's Talking: Andre da Silva
Andre is the newest member of THE PLAYERS team, joining the PGA TOUR earlier this summer.  Andre is a native of Campinas, Brazil and most recently served as CEO and Tournament Director for the US Tennis Association’s Western & Southern Open.  In his new role as THE PLAYERS Tournament Director, Andre will help this championship continue to grow, innovate and reach new heights in the years to come.  Andre and his wife LeAnn have two children, Tristan & Harper.

Name: Andre da Silva
Current Position: Tournament Director of THE PLAYERS
What’s your best karaoke song: Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds
Hobby: Prior to rupturing my Achilles tendon, I used to love playing tennis and running.  Now I enjoy riding my Peloton and reading.
With a lotto win, the first thing you’d buy:  I would buy a house in Florianopolis, Brazil and a vacation home in Maui, Hawaii.
Favorite vacation spot: Maui, Hawaii
Bucket list item: Meet Mario Lemiuex
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MARCH 8-14, 2021 | THEPLAYERS.COM

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