The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas Crown Park After School Program
Supported by the Cedar Branch Baptist Church, Overflow Baptist Church, Fathers Cup Golf Tournament
What happens when you combine strong community leadership with the consistent teaching of golf and The First Tee Nine Core Values? You develop strong leaders, and some pretty good golfers! You might observe that the country neighborhoods around Loris SC would be very challenging for youth, and they are, but many challenges are being met and The First Tee of Coastal Carolinas is proud to be a participant in the ongoing success of these great kids.
The First Tee program at Crown Park Golf Club on Highway 9 in Longs started over 12 years ago as a partnership between Shared Care of Myrtle Beach and Cedar Branch Empowerment Center, operated as a community outreach arm of Cedar Branch Missionary Baptist Church. Being both avid golfers and community leaders, Shared Care’s Executive Director, Rev. Dr. Joseph Washington teamed with Cedar Branch’s pastor, Andy Anderson to start the program. The program now continues under the supervision of The Fathers Cup Overflow Ministries of Longs, South Carolina. Coach Andy Anderson serves as lead pastor.
The program was a great addition to the afterschool and health initiatives already launched by the members of the Cedar Branch community, who were working together diligently to reverse some of the oppressive effects of negative social determinates that poverty and lack of access to resources had inflicted upon this tightly knit, family oriented community, positioned just outside the growing wealth of the Grand Strand. Many of the families that make up the Cedar Branch community could only fathom getting jobs to support others playing golf in the area. The First Tee and the generosity of the owners and staff of Crown Park changes that reality for approximately 25 young people in the fall and spring programs.
The area that was known for violence at liquor houses is now know for excellence in education and supplying Loris High School with four golfers on the school’s girls golf team. Instead of teenage pregnancy and other challenges, these young people are leading in academics, athletics music and dance as they display the core values and confidence that they have learned from the rigorous but fun lessons and the committed coaches and volunteers.
The girls now dream of one day following the footsteps of LPGA member, Mariah Stackhouse, who was a star at Stanford University and has family ties in the Cedar Branch Community. Because of the generosity of Executive Director, Rich Abraham, and The First Tee of the Costal Carolinas, young people get to work toward dreams that they never would have had the hope to dream before.
Coaches & Mentors
- Vince Myers (Elder) – IT VP Horry Georgetown Technical College
- Jarried Jackson – Lead Coach – TFT Level 1 Certified
- Chris Hemingway
- Vicki Hemingway
- Rosa Bolden (Elder)
Rev. Andy has been leading The First Tee Crown Park program for his church and neighborhood youth for over 10 years, dating back to The First Tee of Myrtle Beach. The Cedar Branch Church Community Center is a center of gravity for the youth in the community and they maintain the buildings and grounds. TFT Nine Core Values are displayed and emphasized during youth activities.
Around 25-30 youth are transported in the church van to Crown Park on TFT Friday evenings for the 8 Spring & Fall After School Programs. Golf clubs have been provided by The First Tee and kept by the church for the younger kids, the older kids have their own sets. For the past five years, many youth and volunteers from outside of the church have been participated in the Crown Park program providing a very diverse experience for the youth and the volunteers. Grand Strand Executive Director Rich Abraham was a regular coach and still continues to work with the Friday evening program.
- All have been to the Carolinas Leadership Adventure over multiple summers.
- Anthony Anderson – Rev. Andy’s son, now a collegiate golfer and regular intern at the Carolinas Leadership Adventure for several summers. Has participated in 3 Future Generations Tournaments at Caledonia.
Following in Anthony’s footsteps are:
Ja’Mya Jackson – Mya has participated in 5 FGT’s. She competes on Loris High School Golf, Track, Volleyball and dance teams and is in the marching band. (Mentor Cup partner – Ed Lapierre)
- Tavian Simmons – Tavian has participated in 3 FGT’s. He will compete on the Loris HS golf team in the spring and is currently on the football team.
(Mentor Cup partner – Rev. Andy Anderson)
- Jada Hemingway – 2018-19 Loris Middle School Student Council Vice President, Basketball team, track, JV volleyball, Robotics Club. Competes on HS Women’s Golf Team, member of the marching band and All County Chorus. Currently a Junior in HS, enrolled in the Horry Georgetown Technical College Early College Program.
(Mentor Cup partner – Linda Bradley)
- Jalah Hemingway (Jada’s twin sister) – 2018-19 Loris Middle School Student Council President, Basketball team, track, JV volleyball, Robotics Club. Competes on HS Women’s Golf Team, member of the marching band and All County Chorus. Currently a Junior in HS, enrolled in the Horry Georgetown Technical College Early College Program.
(Mentor Cup partner – Lindell Bradley)
- Ny’Terryiah Hemingway – High School golf, track.
(Mentor Cup partner – Jarried Jackson)