Fifth annual event sponsored by Toro and Walt Disney World
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (October 19, 2011) – World Golf Hall of Famer Annika Sorenstam will address 50 participants from The First Tee network at the Walt Disney World Resort, Oct. 20-23, during the fifth annual Future Leaders Forum sponsored by The Toro Company and Disney. The event is designed to help students broaden leadership skills, prepare for college, and explore career disciplines within the golf industry.
Annika, also the spokesperson for The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits, will lead participants in an interactive session highlighting the importance of incorporating healthy choices into all areas of their lives. The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits is a framework created through a collaboration among The First Tee, ANNIKA Foundation and Florida Hospital for Children to promote healthy, active lifestyles for young people.
“The First Tee is proud to have Annika as a part of this year’s event,” said Joe Louis Barrow, Jr., chief executive officer of The First Tee. “These participants will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network and learn from some of the most talented professionals in golf and business, thanks to the generosity of The Toro Company and the Walt Disney World Resort. Together we are helping create the next generation of leaders.”
“This is the first major event where we can really showcase what The First Tee Nine Healthy Habits is all about,” said Annika. “It will be fun to work with these great kids to put Nine Healthy Habits into action. It will be a fantastic event for them.”
Selected students will also participate in “Disney’s Leadership Excellence: The Inside Track” that teaches the leadership strategies, techniques and behaviors of successful Walt Disney World executives. Additionally, the Forum connects students with industry leaders to learn about careers in tournament operations, golf course management, broadcast media, marketing and hospitality. The program includes presentations from Disney Institute, Toro, PGA of America, The Golf Channel, Marriott Golf and The Children’s Miracle Network, along with a behind-the-scenes look at a PGA TOUR tournament.
“With Toro’s strong commitment to growing the game, this program has connected young leaders with professionals in the industry to better understand the business of golf and the role they play in ensuring the game’s future success,” said Mike Hoffman, chairman and CEO of The Toro Company. “This year’s class of participants are developing leaders in their communities, and we are excited to collaborate with The First Tee and Disney in this unique learning experience.”
The application process included an essay on goals, career aspirations and post-high school plans; community and chapter involvement; and a letter of recommendation from a leader at the student’s chapter of The First Tee.
Since 1998, The Toro Company has been a premier corporate partner and preferred supplier of golf course maintenance and irrigation equipment for The First Tee. Toro is also the official provider of turf and irrigation equipment for the Walt Disney World Resort.
About The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of turf and landscape maintenance equipment, and precision irrigation systems. With sales of nearly $1.7 billion in fiscal 2010, Toro’s global presence extends to more than 80 countries through its reputation of world-class service, innovation and turf expertise. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties, and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.
About Walt Disney World Resort
Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Park); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 34 resort hotels (24 owned and operated by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney's Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney. Walt Disney World Resort is committed to building better futures for children; last year, the company donated more than $28.5 million in cash and in-kind support to non-profit organizations in Central Florida and Disney VoluntEARS contributed a record 250,000 hours to community service. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971, and is open daily, year-round. For more information, visit www.disneyparks.com.
About The First Tee
The First Tee (www.thefirsttee.org), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development organization whose mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. With its home office at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in schools and on military installations.
Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 4.7 million participants in all 50 United States and six international locations. The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Former President George H. W. Bush serves as honorary chairman.
About the ANNIKA Foundation
The ANNIKA Foundation teaches children the importance of living a healthy, active lifestyle through fitness and nutrition, and offers aspiring junior golfers opportunities to pursue their dreams. The Foundation has partnered with several key organizations to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children, including SPARK, the leading physical education program for schools; Florida Hospital for Children, supporting its Healthy 100 Kids initiative; and The First Tee, developing the Nine Healthy Habits curriculum for children. The Foundation annually conducts three major golf events for aspiring junior girls, including the ANNIKA Invitational at Reunion Resort in Orlando, Fla., the award-winning American Junior Golf Association (AJGA) event; the ANNIKA Invitational at Mission Hills in China for top Asian juniors; and the ANNIKA Cup, a team event for the top juniors in Sweden. The Foundation awards SPARK grants to schools, is a financial supporter of Healthy 100 Kids, and has endowed an ACE scholarship with the AJGA. Other key Foundation initiatives include ANNIKA Junior Day, the ANNIKA Inspiration Award and scholarships for aspiring Swedish juniors. More information about the ANNIKA Foundation can be found at www.annikafoundation.org.
The Toro Company
Walt Disney World Resort
The First Tee