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Ben Parks Golf-a-thon a hole in one for kids

Relatives of Ben Parks hit the links for a good cause during the Ben Parks Golf-a-thon Fore Kids event on Monday at the Rockwall Golf and Athletic Club. From the left: Ben's nephews Murphy Parks and Dr. Ben McQueen, niece Paige Parks and great nephew Ben Parks.

(ROCKWALL, TX – June 6, 2017) Fourteen golfers played a total of 54 holes and helped raise over $19,000 for the Rockwall Boys and Girls Club during the Ben Parks Golf-a-thon Fore Kids on Monday, June 5.

The event, held at the Rockwall Golf and Athletic Club, also benefited the BGC’s Ben Parks First Tee program, which it began last summer after partnering with The First Tee of Greater Dallas.

“The difference that First Tee of Greater Dallas is trying to make in the lives of kids, the morals and values that they’re trying to teach kids, line up very perfectly with what the Boys and Girls Club is trying to do,” said Jenny Krueger, CEO of the Rockwall BGC.

The program is named after local beloved golf coach and mentor Ben Parks, who was an avid supporter of the Rockwall BGC and loved nothing more than teaching kids in the community the game of golf. Many of the participants in Monday’s Golf-a-thon were former students and loved ones of Parks, and shared stories and fond memories in his honor before hitting the golf course.

“He loved to help people,” said Ben’s brother, Larry Parks. “He never charged a dime – that was his payback to the game of golf. Ben had an immediate liking to the Boys and Girls Club. His qualities aligned with the Boys and Girls Club and First Tee, and it just seemed like a natural event.”

“I believe that if Ben were alive today he would be an integral part of this First Tee program with the Boys and Girls Club,” said Larry’s wife, Sheri Parks.

Krueger said the BGC offered its First Tee program to 40 youth last summer, and to 25 kids during the school year. Kids participating in the program come up to the Rockwall Golf and Athletic Club every Monday for two hours and learn how to play golf from a First Tee coach, along with other volunteer coaches and mentors.

“The kids not only get to learn the game of golf but have good influences and mentors, and learn a lot about life,” Krueger said.

Story and photos by Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.