Encore for Gifting to Cheboygan County Junior Golf Academy
Encore Financial Group, a financial services firm serving Northern Michigan, gifted Cheboygan County Junior Golf Academy $1,000 through its charitable giving program “Encore for Gifting.” Each quarter the program benefits a charity in one of the communities the company serves. Charities are nominated by community members and chosen by a panel of Encore representatives, staff, and clients.
The Cheboygan County Junior Golf Academy primarily funds the annual cost of the First Tee program which frames golf as a metaphor for life – a game with unexpected challenges and ups and downs that help build strengths beyond the technical skills to play the game. Through introspective questions, interactive games, and immersive golf exercises, each lesson is designed to help kids build a better understanding of themselves and empower them to strengthen the parts of themselves that they take to everything they do.
“We have approximately 125 junior golfers, ages 5-18, from Cheboygan and Indian River enjoying the 8-week, free-of-charge, fun golf program every year,” said Ed Kosanke, board member. “Most communities (
150 around the world) that offer the First Tee program have students paying the cost. We have very few students drop out – an indication of how well the young golfers like this fun golf program.”
The Cheboygan Junior Golf Academy relies solely on donations to pay for the First Tee program. The costs are approximately $8000 per year. Encore Financial Group representatives chose this program in part to help cultivate character in future generations and enable kids to be empowered through a lifetime of new challenges. Well-rounded character often leads to financial independence.
“We understand character is something you can cultivate,” said Dennis Hesselink, CEO of Encore Financial Group. “The [First Tee] program allows kids to build resilience, self-confidence, and inner strength. Learning the game of golf as an adult and teaching it to my grandchildren demonstrates the many life lessons intertwined. Patience, good sportsmanship, honesty, and integrity are all qualities worth encouraging.”
Encore for Gifting is now accepting nominations from all communities that Encore Financial Group representatives serve. The program allows for community members’ input. Nominations made will be considered each quarter throughout the calendar year they are submitted. Organizations have a chance to be awarded once per year. For more information or to nominate an organization visit: encorefinancialgroup.net/nominate or call 231.627.1023.