Return to TNgolf.org
Menu



The Road to Success Dinner Mission Statement

To acknowledge participants from The First Tee of Tennessee with college scholarships for their accomplishments in the classroom, on the course, and with the game’s life-enhancing core values.

The Seventh Annual
Road to Success Dinner was held at the Brentwood Country Club on July 19 to honor and reward The First Tee of Tennessee's Ace Level participants. These students exemplify the nine core values of The First Tee while being active in the community through volunteerism and working towards a college degree. Executive director, Thelma Ewell, and incoming executive director, Joshua McDade, presented the students with the awards and congratulated the 26 scholarship recipients. There were also Ace Level alumni in attendance who have graduated from college serving to inspire the students in attendance.

Two The First Tee of Tennessee alumni, Kyle Harris and Hannah Sudbury, gave their advice to their peers highlighting on how The First Tee’s nine core values prepared them for their college experience. Kyle is a recent graduate of Fisk University and Hannah is a sophomore at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU).

To cap off the night, incoming Tennessee Golf Foundation president, Whit Turnbow (in photo below), gave some words of wisdom to the students encouraging them to take a competitive and hardworking attitude into all aspects of their lives. Whit was a student-athlete at MTSU and later became men's golf coach then associate athletic director at the school. 




Our scholarship program could not be possible without the support of our named scholarship donors:


THE WILLIAM E. SCHMIDT FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIPS
The primary goal of the William E. Schmidt Foundation has always been to help others, emphasizing that the equation of education + initiative + hard work can result in success, as Mr. Schmidt personified in his life. The Foundation supports organizations that can make a true difference in their communities impacting as many people as possible though the arts, education and youth programs. Mr. Schmidt passed away in 2014 after a lengthy battle with Parkinson’s Disease. His legacy of philanthropy and entrepreneurship will continue for future generations through the foundation. In the picture above, Chester Schmidt and Mike Small (front right), board members from the William E. Schmidt Foundation, assemble with their scholarship winners,


MICHEL KAPLAN SCHOLARSHIPS 

In memory or Michel (Mike) Kaplan, Tennessee Golf Hall of Fame member, the TGF’s long-time legal counsel and Tennessee Golf Association board member and president. Mike believed that a strong education was a key to success in life. His wife Rita, law partner Tom Sherrard, and Mike's family and friends have helped contribute to create the Mike Kaplan Scholarship Fund after his passing in 2017 to help our Ace level students reach their goals or attending and graduating college. 


SCOTT & TRACIE HAMILTON SCHOLARSHIPS
Scott & Tracie Hamilton established their scholarship fund for The First Tee of Tennessee after hearing a moving speech by The First Tee of Tennessee participant Joseph Brown at the 2011 Vinny Tournament. Scott and Tracie created an endowment to keep the economics of college from being a stumbling block to a higher education for a participant. Joseph Brown later became the recipient of the Hamilton’s scholarship and graduated from Nashville's Fisk University in 2017.


DIVERSIFIED TRUST SCHOLARSHIP
Started in 2014, this scholarship is provided by our Road to Success Dinner sponsor, Diversified Trust. As a part of their sponsorship, Diversified Trust wanted to make sure that a portion of their fee went to support the young people the dinner is honoring. A good education plays a key role in The Road to Success and Diversified Trust congratulates all of the scholarship recipients tonight and those from previous years. 


THE ERVIN FAMILY SCHOLARSHIPS
Jere Ervin and his family have been longtime supporters of the Tennessee Golf Foundation. Jere has made a significant commitment to The First Tee of Tennessee by funding college scholarships for multiple college bound participants. Besides scholarship contributions that will be made in the Ervin family name, the Ervin family has created the two named scholarships below that were awarded at the dinner.


MARTY GRAHAM, JR. SCHOLARSHIP
In the honor and memory of Marty Graham, Jr. longtime friend of the Ervin family. The Grahams and Ervins are long time members of Old Hickory Country Club. Marty was an outstanding amateur player and won numerous championships throughout his lifetime. 


TOM SMOTHERS SCHOLARSHIP
In the honor and memory of Tom Smothers, an avid golfer who loved the game and was active as a volunteer with the Tennessee Golf Association. The Ervin and Smothers families are related by marriage with Grant Smothers marrying Suzanne Ervin. This scholarship is funded through the Ervins and the Don & Julie Smothers.


The First Tee of Tennessee Alumni Kyle Harris and Hannah Sudbury presented their views on college life to the dinner attendees


Congratulations to the The First Tee of Tennessee's 2018-2019 scholarship recipients:  


MATT BRAY

University of Oklahoma


MADDIE BUCKLEY

Middle Tennessee State University

GRANT BUMPUS

Murray State University


RYAN BROWNLOW

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


MERYL CASTLE

(2018 The First Tee Scholar)
Milligan College 


MADISON CHILDERS

Middle Tennessee State University


BLAKE CHRISTENSON

University of Tennessee, Knoxville


EMI CLAASSEN

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


WESLEY CRUTCHER

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


SEAN FOX

Tennessee Tech University


CODY GATES

Volunteer State Community College


OLIVER GORE

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


CAELEN GREENFIELD

University of Tennessee Knoxville


BROOKLYN HARPER-SPICER

Brescia University


TANNER HERRING

Tennessee Tech University


MACK KRAUS

Vanderbilt University


MICHAEL LANE

John Brown University


CHRISTINA LINDHAL

Austin Peay State University


JORDAN POWELL

Cumberland University


BERNARD RAY

Chicago State University


CAREY RAY

Mississippi State University


GAYLA REED

Prairie View A&M University


CALEB STEVIN

University of Tennessee, Chattanooga


HANNAH SUDBURY

Middle Tennessee State University


LAUREN WELCH

University of South Alabama


MARLON YOUNG

University of Memphis


2018 The First Tee Scholar Meryl Castle with head golf professional Alphonso Ashford


ABOUT OUR PRESENTING SPONSOR: DIVERSIFIED TRUST

Diversified Trust is an employee-owned comprehensive wealth management firm based in the Southeast with over $5 billion of client assets under management. Their clients include individuals, multi-generational families, family offices, foundations, endowments and retirement plans.


Golf House Tennessee
400 Franklin Road · Franklin, TN 37069
P: (615) 790-7600 F: (615) 790-8600
© 2018 TENNESSEE GOLF FOUNDATION. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.