May 31, 2012
Cassie Wang: 2012 Presidents' Leadership Award
Pierce of Covington, La., was named a recipient of the 2012 Presidents’
Leadership Award, the United States Golf Association and American Junior Golf
Association announced Thursday.
Presidents’ Leadership Award was created to recognize one boy and one girl
junior golfer who demonstrate leadership, character and community service
through their involvement with the Leadership Links program – a joint
initiative founded by the USGA and AJGA in 2005 to further develop junior
golfers through volunteerism.
and girls’ recipient Cassie Wang of Lenexa, Kan., will be honored and formally
presented the award during the Rolex Dinner of Champions, June 28, in Alpharetta,
Ga., during the Rolex Tournament of Champions. Additionally, they will each
receive four tickets to a U.S. Open in a year of his/her choice, access to the
USGA hospitality tent during the U.S. Open, and an automatic entry into the
2012 Rolex Tournament of Champions, one of the world’s most prestigious junior
typically influence just one person's scorecard, but Brandon Pierce's birdies
have touched the lives of many over the last two years.
2010, Pierce founded Brandon’s Birdies, a fundraising program to raise money
for underprivileged children in his local community. Donors pledge money for
every birdie he makes during his state, regional and national tournaments.
Since its inception, Pierce has raised more than $35,000 for local charities in
the New Orleans area.
birdie goes into the hole, I always give a little fist pump,” Pierce said. “But
when I take the ball out of the hole, I flash a smile at my mother, knowing
that the money raised will help other young people.”
17, was inspired as a young golfer on the Fore!Kids Foundation Junior Tour.
Since age nine, Pierce has devoted his time each year as a volunteer at the PGA
TOUR Zurich Classic of New Orleans, an annual event hosted by Fore!Kids
Foundation that makes a major charitable impact on the city of New Orleans.
Fore!Kids Foundation taught me values, courtesy, sportsmanship and honesty,”
Pierce said. “They helped me grow into the person I am today and I really feel
I need to give something back to them.”
Fore!Kids Foundation is one of several beneficiaries of Brandon’s Birdies.
Other charities include The Kelly Gibson Foundation, CP3 Foundation, St.
Michael’s Special School, Hope House – Children’s Advocacy Center and the AJGA
Foundation. In 2011, Pierce raised $2,000 for the AJGA ACE Grant program, which
was accompanied by a $1,000 donation from the USGA.
year, Pierce is raising money for Playing fore their Future, a Leadership Links
program supported by the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and
benefiting CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Pierce has currently raised the
second-highest amount for the program. The eight juniors who raise the most are
slated to receive an award from Jack Nicklaus during the Rolex Junior
All-America Awards Banquet in November.
the future of Brandon’s Birdies, Pierce has increased his initial fundraising
goal from $40,000, a mark he is already set to pass, to $50,000 raised by the
time he graduates high school. He hopes his philanthropic efforts will inspire
other young golfers.
been extremely blessed in my life being able to pursue my dreams,” Pierce said.
“I am hopeful that by giving back to children’s charities and exemplifying a
caring, sharing and positive attitude, it will motivate others to chase their
dreams and give back to their communities.”
recently shared his life mantra with The First Tee of Roanoke Valley during the
Scott Robertson Memorial Junior Golf Tournament. Later this year, Pierce will address
golfers and guests during the Kelly Gibson/Fore!Kids Foundation Junior Tour
meantime, Pierce will continue doing what he does best – making birdies really count.
About the USGA
USGA conducts the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open, as well as
10 national amateur championships, two state team championships and
international matches. Together with The R&A, the USGA governs the game
worldwide, jointly administering the Rules of Golf, Rules of Amateur Status, Equipment
Standards and World Amateur Golf Rankings. The USGA’s working jurisdiction
comprises the United States, its territories and Mexico.
USGA is a global leader in the development and support of sustainable golf
course management practices. It serves as a primary steward for the game’s
history and funds an ongoing “For the Good of the Game” charitable giving
program. Additionally, the USGA’s Course Rating and Handicap systems are used
on six continents in more than 50 countries.
more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org.
USGA-AJGA Presidents’ Leadership Award – Past
2012 Brandon Pierce (Covington, La.)
Cassie Wang (Lenexa, Kan.)
2011 John Farese (Sayville, N.Y.)
Natalie Turk (Franklin, Tenn.)
2010 Drew Johnson (Oak Ridge, N.C.)
Jacqueline Calamaro (Newtown Square,
2009 Zach Herr (New Hope, Pa.)
Emily Gimpel (Lafayette Hill, Pa.)
2008 Smylie Kaufman (Birmingham, Ala.)
Kelsey Conway (Ventura, Calif.)
2007 Joseph Suarez (Richmond, Va.)
Angela Villela (Sylmar, Calif.)
2006 Adam Michel (Orinda, Calif.)
Katrina Delen-Briones (San