Rickie Fowler to play golf with charitable Florida juniors
For star junior golfers Alec and Elle Nachmann, helping others comes as naturally as sinking a birdie putt.
The brother and sister from Boca Raton, who regularly shoot 18-hole scores that would make a tour pro proud -- Elle's best is a 64, Alec's a 64 or 65 -- posted a much more impressive number earlier this year.
In a charity golf fundraiser that they came up with called "Kids Helping Kids One Stroke At A Time," the siblings raised more than $24,000.
Half of the money will go to the Morgan Pressel Foundation, a charity headed by the LPGA Tour golfer from Boca Raton that funds breast cancer research, education and early detection.
The other half goes to the American Junior Golf Association's Achieving Competitive Excellence Grant program, which enables talented golfers with limited financial resources to travel to and play in AJGA tournaments, where they can be scouted by college coaches and hopefully earn golf scholarships.
In recognition of the amount of money they raised, Alec and Elle earned an invitation from the AJGA to play golf with PGA Tour star Rickie Fowler this Saturday at The Bear's Club in Jupiter.
"He seems like a really great person," said Alec, 14.
"It's going to be a really fun event," added Elle, 13. "I was really kind of shocked you could play with a pro, but that's how he gives back to the community."
The ninth-graders, who are excellent students -- they're both taking pre-calculus and are fluent in Spanish -- got the news from their mother, Luanne, who was more excited than they were that they'd get to play with Fowler, whom she called "a great player and a great role model."
"I think it's very inspirational for them to see that," she said. "Here you have one of the premier golfers on tour who is recognizing them. That's just a great life lesson. That's something the kids will carry with them for the rest of their lives."
The fundraiser was inspired by an AJGA program called "Leadership Links" that provides tools ranging from a personalized website (alecandelle.com) to promotional materials to prizes so youngsters can make a difference in their communities. The Nachmanns wanted to raise money to help youngsters with cancer.
"We decided it would be a good idea to help out in that way," Alec said. "There are a bunch of charities that help out adults, but not as many for kids. Especially since we're kids."
"We wanted to help find a cure and do something for people who can't afford treatment for cancer, to help them out," Elle said.
Held in February at Osprey Point Golf Course in Boca Raton in conjunction with the Don Law Golf Academy and LPGA Tour pro Jaye Marie Green of Boca Raton, the event featured a skills challenge with prizes for golfers and non-golfers who paid a fee to participate. There was also an auction with golf equipment and autographed items from Pressel.
The event, which the Nachmanns plan to hold again next year, raised nearly $4,000, with the balance of the funds coming from private donations.
"I was super proud," their mother said. "They're very driven."
Although they don't compete with each other on the golf course, they motivate each other. Neither their mother nor their father, Marc, plays golf, but the kids were naturals from the first time they swung a golf club on a driving range when they were 3-4 years old.
Luanne played on the pro tennis tour as an amateur -- she competed at Wimbledon -- and went on to play tennis for Duke University. Her sister Diana was also a top player and their brother Vince Spadea was ranked as high as 18th in the world.
Alec and Elle said they used to play golf in the morning and tennis in the afternoon, but both focused on golf when they were "8-ish" according to Elle. They hope their talent will allow them to play collegiate golf in a few years, but in the meantime, they'll keep giving back.
After all, as Alec said, "It's good to help others."
This article was written by Steve Waters from Sun Sentinel and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.