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Inner City Youth Golf Program
Our goal is to take guns out of the hands of the youth and replace them with golf clubs. Teach them to take a shot with a 9 iron golf club and not a 9mm gun. We look to give the youth the opportunity to learn life skills through the game of golf. We will encourage and empower youth through fun and challenging experiences by supplying a platform based on Education, Integrity and Leadership skills. The program will help youth grow on and off the golf course.
In 2008 the late Robert (Bob) Duckworth invited my 9 year old son (Jaihaddi) and I (Lenard Reeves) to play in his Tuskegee Institute Annual Golf Tournament. At the tournament we played with Patsy Hampton who was very impressed with the way my son played and wanted to know where did he learn to hit the ball that way. I told her that he had been enrolled in Fir State Jr Golf program, First Tee of Greater Seattle, and a new program at River Bend the Douglas Jr Golf program.
We became volunteers in the Douglas Jr Program. Working with the Juniors, we decided to start a Douglas Men & Women Sr golf club. By starting the senior club it allowed the juniors to play in the WSGA Jr tournament, the 29th Annual Alan Bennett Memorial Jr Golf tournament. That year we took 16 youth to play in the tournament in Portland, Oregon, 6 made the final cut, and Anjeliese Hampton finished in 2nd Place. We had a successful summer program and realized that it was more about the juniors than the game.
In 2011, we founded the HyTee Golf & Social Club, a non- profit 501©3 corporation. We started the club and became members of the Western State Golf Association, a 62- year old golf organization that consisted of 30 African American golf clubs in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. We also became members of The NWGA Northwest Golf Association, which consists of 7 African American golf clubs in Oregon and Washington. We are partners with the Puget Sound Golf Association and being partners provides the club members with the opportunity to play at some of the oldest and finest country clubs in Washington State at a discount price. In 2012 we started our HyTee Jr golf program. We didn't have any money, so the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle stepped in and sponsored our Junior Program for the first two years. They covered the cost for the usage of the River Bend Golf facility, golf shirts, golf instruction, transportation and all of our needs in order to have a successful program.
Over the years, some of the senior golfers noticed that the demographic of seattle youth golfers was slowly changing back to a predominately, white majority enterprise. The rapid gentrification of Seattle and particularly the historically and culturally people of colored neighborhoods were being most affected. The Hi-Tee little league golf program is our attempt to reintroduce this sport to our young African-American youth. Our goal is to introduce these children to the billion dollar industry that is golf. We aspire to expose the youth to all aspects of golf from learning how to play, to learning how to caddy. We want to expose them to the business of golf from learning how golf courses are designed, to learning how to produce and fit clubs, to learning how to maintain the grounds.
My name is Lenard (Bo) Reeves and I'm the founder and CEO of Hi-Tee Jr Little League Golf Program (Hi-Tee Jr LLGP). Hi-Tee Jr LLGP is a youth golf organization in the Seattle and King County Communities exposing youth ages 5 and up to the wonderful world of golf. After 4 years of research and 11 years of working with youth golf programs, I felt that I had to establish a way to introduce inner city African American youth to the game of golf. Organizing and starting a golf Jr little league program is a dream that I have had for many years.
It has manifested into a reality. On September 7th 2019 at Jefferson Park golf course in partnership with FAST (Fathers and Sons Together) we had our first Golf camp, enrolling 65 youth to the golf program. We received our first grant from King County Parks, I feel happy and blessed to have an opportunity to work with a group of youth to hopefully keep them focused, stay in school, stay out of trouble and learn and enjoy the game of golf. It is from these humble observations and the ever changing political climate that seems to keep marginalizing our youth that I continue to strive to make a difference
Please Watch “Out of the Rough” to understand the obstacles African Americans endured to play the game of golf. Hi-Tee Little League Golf is a continuation of the tradition of allowing our children exposure to the wonderful game of golf. (password: ootr)
Many of our coaches are members of the Hy-Tee Golf Club and various other clubs around the Seattle area. Our coaches volunteer their time in other youth activities but see golf as a game that combines several disciplines as well as helps with life skills.
Program Director for HI-TEE Little League Golf
BJ’s accomplishments include:
Teaching pro-Amy Yee Tennis Center for 25 years.
Head pro-Mercer Wood Shore Club 7 years.
Head tennis coach Seattle University 7 years.
Head verifier for the USTA national tennis rating program 10 years.
Played on the GOLFWEEK Amateur Tour
Golf coach for HyTee Golf Club 2 years
Program Director for Hi Tee Little league Golf 2020
Club golf player
Sanders grew up in Leesville, Louisiana and attended Leesville High School. Afterwards he went into the Air Force and 20 years later retired as a C-141 Professional Flight Engineer. While in the Air Force he received a BS Degree in Education and Development from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Upon retirement, Sanders received his Commercial Flight Instructor Certificate and flew for several airlines and just recently retired from Boeing. Aviation and Golf has always been his passion. He's been around for a long time and wanted to embrace the opportunity of introducing young people (especially young people of color) to the game of golf.
Randall grew up in Long Beach California Attended Long Beach Poly High school from 1978-1980.Long Beach Poly is known for producing more professional athletes than any other high school in America. Football was my passion and where I excelled. April of 1984, I was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks. I had the privilege of playing 5 seasons with some great players. Steve Largent is one in particular who I am talking about. Hall of famer in his own right. He taught me how to be a pro. From 88-89, I played for the Detroit Lions. After playing professional football for 6 seasons, I started a new chapter in my life. It was called Life after football. I worked for 9 years as a youth sports director at a YMCA. It was truly the best job that I had ever had because I was shaping young kids lives.
Golf is my passion and I’m here to spread golf to anyone who wants to learn. As the last golfer on Rainier Beach HS team in 2011, I understand the need for there to be golf in communities that don’t have it. The positive effect that golf has had on me pushed me to get a college golf scholarship in Oregon and play at Bandon Dunes. Golf is just not a one time thing it’s a life time game for me.
Golf coach and amateur golf professional. Pictured with Ms. Condoleeza Rice (former U.S. Secretary of State)
Marilynn Harris, grew up and attended School in Yakima, graduated from A.C. Davis High School. Moved to Bellevue, WA in 1976 and attended Bellevue College graduating with a AA in Liberal Arts. Started working for Washington Mutual Bank in 1979 and also received a BA in Business Administration. After retiring from the bank in 2001, chose to work non-profit. Passionate about helping others. Marilynn worked for the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle for 15 years. Worked as the Director of Employment & Training, as Interim Director of Seattle Youth Violence Prevention, Contractors Development & Competitiveness Center, received a Certification in Construction Management and in the Housing Division as a Housing Counselor & Mediation Specialist until 2015. In 2017 worked a temporary position with the City of Seattle as a Program Assistant at Southshore Elementary assisted with organizing and planning after school and summer activities for children. Tutored students, and taught Arts & Craft classes, baking and scientific experiments. Currently working as a Homeless Stability Case Manager. “Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” -Dr Martin Luther King Jr
Kathya Alexander is a writer, actor, storyteller, and teaching artist. Her poem, Naa Naa, appeared in Raising Lilly Ledbetter: Women Poets Occupy the Workplace. She has also had her short story, My Daddy Dead, published in Arkana Literary Magazine, and two short stories (The King’s Music and Lest Thou Be Judged) have been published in the Pitken Review. She has won the Jack Straw Artist Support Program Award, Artists Projects Award from 4Culture; and the WRAP Award, Youth Arts Award, and the CityArtist Award from the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture. Her play, David and Jonathan: A Modern Day Retelling of the Biblical Tale, was selected for Seattle Theater Group’s Night At The Neptune. Another play, HomeGoing, was chosen for Freehold’s New Plays Festival, Mahogany Project's Play Festival, and for residency at Hedgebrook Women’s Writer's Retreat. She was playwright for Intiman Theater's Rough Eagle's Project, and her play, Black To My Roots: African American Tales from the Head and the Heart, won the Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland for Outstanding New Performance. Her book, a collection of short stories called Angel In The Outhouse, is available on Amazon.
Dennis Comer is a retired military officer who relocated to the Seattle area and has decided to create and run a small business in the Central District. Dennis is responsible for oversight and management of the Central Area Neighborhoods Only in Seattle Grant through the non profit organization, the Central Area Collaborative.Under his leadership, he has helped facilitate many community wins and create in-roads into places historically reserved for others. Dennis brings a team-oriented approach and develops data-driven strategies to ensure programs and policies that fulfill the missions of the various organizations that address the needs of the community.
Mack Murray serves as a legal consultant for Hi Tee Little League Golf
Curtis serves as the treasurer for the Hi-Tee Little League Golf Program.