The First Tee of Greater New Orleans Recognizes Award Winners for 2018

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Brad Cooney, Lori Launey, Chip Patterson -- Participant of the Year 2018 1.26.19
Pictured L to R: Brad Cooney, Lori Launey, Chip Patterson

The First Tee of Greater New Orleans Recognizes Award Winners for 2018

The First Tee of Greater New Orleans recognized its top participants from 2018 at its annual End of Year Awards Ceremony that took place on Saturday evening at Flagstick Golf in Metairie. Over 125 participants, parents, board members and supporters attended the awards ceremony.

Earning the organization’s top honor was Lori Launey, a Cabrini alum from Gretna, who won the 2018 Participant of the Year Award. Launey, 18, is a freshman at Loyola University and plays on Wolf Pack’s women’s golf team, which is the 10th ranked NAIA team in the nation heading into the spring season. Launey’s highlights in The First Tee program include participating in The First Tee Ladies Jr.-Am Sponsored by Fidelity Bank last fall, being awarded the Oscar J. Tolmas Charitable Trust Scholarship and serving as a First Tee Camp Counselor last summer and being selected for the PGA Tour’s Junior Course Reporter program at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans for three consecutive years.

Launey joined The First Tee program in 2015 and shortly thereafter, in the spring of her sophomore year, starting the Golf team at Cabrini High School. As the founding member of the team, Lori helped design the Cabrini Golf uniform and developed a practice regimen. Launey recently completed her Ace certification within The First Tee’s Life Skills Experience program, which includes creating and implementing a community service project and is accomplished by less than 1% of The First Tee’s participants.

The First Tee also recognized nine additional participants for their demonstration of The First Tee’s Nine Core Values. The winners included: Zaire Stevenson (Respect), Cristiano Windham (Judgment),
Taylor Collins (Responsibility), Jordan Coates (Integrity), Matthew Brunious (Sportsmanship),
McKenzie Bourgeois (Honesty), Elliott Gomes (Confidence), Ashley Biehl (Perseverance) and Katerina Johnson (Courtesy).

The awards ceremony also highlighted some of the adult’s contributions to The First Tee of Greater New Orleans in 2018. Glynn Dexter was recognized as the Volunteer of The Year. Dexter, a member of the Friends of Bartholomew Golf Course, has volunteered with The First Tee the past three years organizing a group of volunteer mentors who are paired with students from G.W. Carver High School. Wes Gilmore was recognized as The First Tee’s Coach of The Year. Gilmore, who played golf collegiately at Loyola University, is a former participant in The First Tee program in Atlanta and is currently a teacher at St. Augustine High School. He joined The First Tee coaching staff last spring.

The First Tee provides out-of-school time programs for youth ages 5-18 that teach character education, life skills and healthy habits, through the game of golf. The First Tee of Greater New Orleans’ spring after-school and weekend classes will begin on March 9th, 2019 at several local golf facilities and registration for classes is open at their website The First Tee program is open to any youth and scholarships are available for families who qualify to participate at no cost.

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About The First Tee of Greater New Orleans:
The First Tee of Greater New Orleans ( is 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. Operating its afterschool and outreach programs at over 60 locations, The First Tee of Greater New Orleans reaches over 30,000 young people annually on golf courses, in elementary schools and at other youth-serving agencies throughout the region.

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has introduced the game of golf and its values to more than 10.5 million young people in all 50 states and select international locations. The First Tee’s Founding Partners are LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Shell Oil Company is The First Tee’s Founding Corporate Partner and Johnson & Johnson is its Legacy Partner. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair.

Pictures Attached – Photo Credit: New Orleans Snapshots

Media Contact: Chip Patterson, Executive Director, Office: 504-304-3309, Cell: 703-731-8876, Email:

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