The First Tee: Giving Back to the Community
My wife, Liz, and I have been very blessed. We have two fantastic sons, we live in a gorgeous state, I have a thriving Colorado accident attorney law firm, and we have loyal and loving friends and family. When we count our blessings (which is often) we know that we are fortunate. That’s why I try to give back to the community in so many ways.
Today, I’d like to highlight an organization that I believe in so deeply that I commit my time and money and even my family’s time to helping: The First Tee of Denver.
The mission of The First Tee of Denver is to use golf as a tool to educate kids academically, socially and physically. The organization introduces inner city and disadvantaged youth to golf, helping to instill in them the game’s most important skills: responsibility, respect, perseverance and integrity.
Not only have I served on the board of directors for many years, but The O’Sullivan Law Firm offers a $10,000 college scholarship to one deserving First Tee high school senior every spring.
I actually “guilted” myself into helping this organization over a decade ago and I am so glad I did. When my first son, Tommy, was just 18 months old, I used to take him on weekends to the City Park Golf Course to hit balls. (It was a gift to Liz, letting her sleep in!)
First Tee has a junior course at City Park and it’s free. Tommy and I would spend three to four hours there every weekend and I started to feel guilty. Surely I could do something to give back to this organization that was giving me wonderful Saturday mornings with my son. So I walked into their office and said, “What can I do?”
Well, they put me to work! I started volunteering in schools, helping kids with their homework and then with golf-related activities that were full of “hidden learning.” For example, we taught them how to make their own clubs, an activity loaded with demanding math problems.
We also helped the kids with life skills, such as looking people in the eye when you talk to them.
Then I joined the board and, later, I served as the board chairman for six years. During my term, we grew to become the 2nd biggest of the international organization’s 300 chapters! I am still on the board, though I am no longer chairman, and we now serve 5,000 kids annually. Our goal is to serve 10,000 students annually by 2020.
Participants unanimously identified school as a setting into which they transferred the life skills they learned from golf. They also reported the following:
- 73% reported high confidence in their ability to do well academically.
- 82% felt confident in their social skills with peers.
- 57% credited The First Tee for their meeting and greeting skills.
- 52% credited the program for their ability to appreciate diversity.
I am so passionate about this organization that I talk about it all the time, nearly every day, to anybody who will listen! If you’d like to learn more about The First Tee of Denver so that you can get more involved or start to give back to the community, please contact me any time. (303-388-5304)
The O’Sullivan Law Firm is hosting its annual St. Patrick’s Day Party on Friday, March 11, 2016!
Friday • March 11 • 4-7 p.m.
Enjoy food and beverages as you enjoy bagpipes and drummers, 4 – 7 p.m. The bagpiper and drummer perform from 4 to 4:30 and then again from 6 to 6:30. Drop in, say ‘Scraic!’ (Google it), and celebrate the luck of the Irish with us!
Please RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the fight or flight syndrome? When our brain interprets a situation and tells us that we are in danger and we have two choices: stand and fight or flee from danger.
What does this have to do with our weaknesses? Well, when we take a good hard look at our weaknesses, we may see fear underlying many of them. On many occasions, that fear is what makes us flee and opt for the flight syndrome. However, there are ways we can overcome fear and even turn our weaknesses into our biggest strengths.
Sometimes the only way to overcome a fear is to face it head on, which can be daunting and even frightening at first. However, if you take small steps in the beginning, recognizing your small successes, chances are you will go on to bigger and better things.
If you have areas, like we all do, that you would like to improve upon, then you should definitely take inventory of where you feel you are lacking and what your strengths are, as well.
Start with one small area and when you have finished working on that area, move on to another area. Let’s say for example, you are weak in public speaking. Take a class, watch a video, read a book, talk to a professional and you will see that you will begin to feel more empowered right away.
Take an Inside-Out View
Sometimes your strongest suits are the ones where your weakest areas live. For example, if you always disliked the fact that you were quiet, shy, and withdrawn, perhaps you have a creative side that simply needs an outlet.