Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Will the Tiger Woods Foundation help save McIntire Park?

With Tiger Woods appearing in virtually every publication around the world in the past few weeks, I decided that he might be interested in changing the subject from his social life to another social agenda. I found the Tiger Woods Foundation website and discovered that this foundation is interested in providing education opportunities for youth from diverse backgrounds. The "Empowering Youth" goal of the foundation states the following:

"Providing access to critical developmental programs is a priority for the Tiger Woods Foundation. Youth are encouraged to explore their interests and career aspirations in an inspiring and supportive environment at the Tiger Woods Learning Center. Achieving goals and reaching dreams is the focus of our nationwide character development program. The Foundation is giving youth the skills to lay their own groundwork for the future."

I thought the goals of the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park including saving the historic McIntire Park Golf Course and the First Tee program that is hosted at the course might be of interest to the Tiger Woods Foundation. Below is my inquiry (with minor editorial changes) to the Tiger Woods Foundation asking for support of our effort.

I am hoping Tiger Woods himself might get personally involved in this effort. Perhaps rather than being a spokesman for AT&T and other commercial enterprises who have released him from their marketing arrangements, he would be interested in being a spokesman and champion of preserving our historic golf course, our historic parkland, and youth education. The change of subject might be just what Tiger Woods needs.

I included my telephone number so Tiger Woods can contact me directly if he is personally interested. Maybe he and I (and some financial supporters of our cause) could play a round when the course is playable again so he can see our historic course and understand why McIntire Park must be preserved. Let me know if you can lend me a set of clubs for such a round. I have played golf a few times, but I don't currently have any clubs and haven't swung a golf club since sometime in the Carter administration.

My inquiry to the Tiger Woods Foundation:

A historic golf course (McIntire Park Golf Course) located in Charlottesville Virginia is threatened by a proposed roadway and interchange. This golf course is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and was originally built in the Scottish Pasture Golf style. Currently, this golf course hosts a program called the First Tee program. The First Tee provides young people of all backgrounds an opportunity to develop life-enhancing values such as confidence, perseverance and judgment through golf and character education.

A coalition of environmentalist, planners, golfers, transportation engineers, educators, and citizens are attempting to save this historic golf course - and the park in which it is contained - from destruction by the roadway and interchange - so that members of the greater Charlottesville area and visitors from outside the area can enjoy the use and educational opportunities this historic course provides. This coalition (the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park) has been working for several years to save this historic park and golf course through interaction with the City of Charlottesville, the Federal Highway Administration, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We believe that the road and interchange projects are being developed not in compliance with several federal environmental and historic preservation laws and should not be constructed as planned.

Attorneys we have consulted suggest that our case is strong, but that we will need to mount a vigorous action in federal court to preserve the historic parkland and golf course. We believe that our goal and the mission of the Tiger Woods Foundation coincide on this issue and request that you consider providing support for our efforts to save the historic McIntire Park Golf Course and enhance the opportunities for youth of all backgrounds to become successful citizens through the First Tee program and understanding the importance of historic preservation as a part of our cultural experience.

Please let me know if the Tiger Woods Foundation might be interested in providing us some support for this effort. We would also welcome any suggestions you might have to assist us in other than simply financial support. Perhaps Mr Woods himself might find that associating himself with this effort in support of both preservation of historic golf courses, and in education of today's youth might be mutually beneficial.

I look forward to hearing from you and am happy to discuss details of any possible arrangement that might be within the mission of the Tiger Woods Foundation.


Peter Kleeman - member of the Coalition to Preserve McIntire Park, Charlottesville VA
(434) 296-6208

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