Above: Art Charpentier receives the BCGA Zone 4 Volunteer Recognition Award from Hugh Murray and Greg Moody.
The idea of a “Junior Golf Society” was conceived by a long-time golfer, who played at UGC for about 70 years, Mr. Norm Johnson (who passed away in Dec. 2006).
In the fall of 2003, at the annual meeting of the Weekend Men’s Past Presidents of University Golf Club…Mr. Johnson made a speech about how much golf had contributed to the joy of his life. He closed with the statement that he “wanted to give something back to the game and do something for kids”. Art Charpentier spoke up and said “if Norm puts up the seed funds, Art would provide the leadership”. With a $5000 cheque handed over from Mr. Johnson…Mr. Charpentier took the leadership reins.
…And that was the beginning of the UGC Junior Golf Society.
One of the first things Art did, right after he had arranged for me to meet with he and Mr. Johnson to secure the support of University Golf Club and its golf professionals, was to make an arrangement with “KIDSAFE” – an organization that was established to look after inner city elementary kids during non-school hours – so that the UGC Junior Golf Society could provide an ‘Introduction to Golf Program’…well, to say the least, the kids had a blast.
Art immediately got to work getting the word out to the other groups who call UGC home.
• He arranged for the Tuesday Ladies Group to fund the purchase of a number of proper junior sets…so the kids felt they had something of their own to use and take care of during their lessons.
• He solicited donations from the Weekend Men’s & Business Women’s Club.
• He approached the Senior Men’s Midweek Club to develop a ‘volunteer/peer’ group who took time each week to be a part of the weekly lessons so that there was enough supervision for the kids.
As the program grew, Art kept ahead of things by incorporating as a Society in March 2004.
As you can easily see from my brief description of the chain of events in the development of the UGC Junior Golf Society…that Art’s vision, dedication, and leadership in introducing the wonderful game of golf to Inner City Kids…is why he is receiving today the BCGA Zone 4 Volunteer Recognition Award.
Congratulations Art!! / www.bcgazone4.org