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--- Issued August 31,2009

Eighteen young public housing residents and their mentors closed out the summer with the Housing Authority's 7th Annual Mentor/Youth Golf Tournament at J.C. Martin Golf Course this August.

The event was won by the Mentor/Youth Golf Team of Gerry VanDermere (YMCA of Greater Erie Executive Director) and Khemoni Farmer (John E. Horan Garden Apartments YMCA Kids Club member)

Shown in the above photo are, from left, Khemoni Farmer, Gerry VanDermere with his son Tyler, Glen Duck, Tiajah Worthy, golf instructor Karen Bukowski, and Steven Alexander.

The tournament was the finale of the 8th Annual Junior Golf Program. The program was held by the Housing Authority in partnership with the summer recreation programs of Erie and Millcreek. Bukowski is the PGA Professional who, with assistants and mentors, provided instruction.

The six-week program included weekly lessons, one-on-one golf instruction and encouragement with a mentor, a Putt/Pitch and Drive Contest, and participation in the August 8 golf tournament.

The program taught golf etiquette in addition to putting, chipping, driving, and the clubs to use for each type of shot. "The whole idea is to expose them to something they may be able to do for the rest of their lives, and give them the benefit of being with mentors," said John Horan, executive director of the Housing Authority. "Over the 8 years that the golf program has been offered, several of our young residents have gone on to participate on local high school golf teams," said Horan.

Public housing residents from 9 to 16 registered for the program through the YMCA of Greater Erie and the John F. Kennedy Center, which administor on-site youth programs in the John E. Horan Garden Apartments, Erie Heights/Pineview and Harbor Homes housing developments. The YMCA and the John F. Kennedy Center provided transportation to and from the lessons and special events. Youth golf clubs were provided for use at the lessons.

For more information, contact John Horan at 452-2425.