Golf News for Wednesday, July 31, 2013 | Charity

Major League Baseball Star Josh Johnson supports The First Tee

LAS VEGAS -- The First Tee of Southern Nevada instills life skills and core values to area junior golfers. Among those core values are respect, integrity, perseverance, and sportsmanship. As part of the overall mission, the organization operates the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association (SNJGA) Tour which allows juniors to chase competitive dreams and bring their athletic and life skills to the course. This summer, Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Josh Johnson, a Las Vegas resident, made a significant donation to the organization to support the junior tour. Several juniors who play and have played the SNJGA Tour have gone on to receive college scholarships and a select few have then moved on to the LPGA and PGA Tour. The intertwining of competition and the core values was what prompted Johnson to get involved.

"My wife, Heidi, and I feel strongly about giving back to the community and we feel that helping children is the best place for our resources," says Johnson, a two-time All Star and starting pitcher for the Blue Jays. "Growing up, I always related to sports best, and I feel that simply learning how to play a sport is not always enough. Learning how to play sports the right way by honoring the rules and respecting your teammates, coaches, and opponents is just as important. These aspects of sports and sportsmanship help mold children into fine young adults. The First Tee of Southern Nevada program exemplifies those characteristics and we are proud to sponsor such a terrific organization."

Johnson has shown his own perseverance off the baseball diamond, a story that can motivate junior golfers to continue to work hard no matter the circumstances. Johnson underwent Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery in 2007 but battled back quickly from the serious injury. Through June of 2013, Johnson had a career record of 57 wins and 39 losses.

"The First Tee of Southern Nevada is very appreciative to Josh and his Double Nickel Foundation for being a sponsor of our Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association this summer," says Kevin Favreau, The First Tee of Southern Nevada executive director. "His $11,000 donation is a big deal for us in helping to pay the cost of administering our junior tour which plays events at golf courses all of over the area."

About The First Tee of Southern Nevada
The First Tee of Southern Nevada celebrated its ten year anniversary in 2012 as a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established through the merger of the Southern Nevada Junior Golf Association and the Southern Nevada Inner City Youth Golf Association in 2002. The program is an "Ace" designee by the national The First Tee office, and has been ranked in the top 5 nationally of the more than 200 The First Tee organizations. Programs include the Danny Gans Junior Golf Academy, the SNJGA Tour, the Driving the Dream Scholarship fund, and others. The First Tee of Southern Nevada is a part of The First Tee National program. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Shell Oil Company is The First Tee's Founding Corporate Partner and Johnson & Johnson is its Legacy Partner. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair. Website:; Facebook: ; Twitter @FirstTeeSNV

About the Double Nickel Foundation
The Double Nickel Foundation is a non-profit organization 501(c)(3) that promotes lasting improvements in the lives of local underprivileged children. We believe that children everywhere deserve hope and opportunity. The Double Nickel Foundation strives to make a lasting difference in the lives of disadvantaged children. It is our belief that by assisting these children we are investing in their futures and the future of the community. Double Nickel pays homage to Johnson's uniform number 55. Website:

The First Tee of Southern Nevada
Kevin Favreau
702.433.0626 ext 203

Double Nickel Foundation
Eric Polis