Palm Valley Country Club members were among the first WSCGA clubs to raise funds for the WSCGA Foundation. Through their “Piece of Cake” Tournament, they have raised over $75,000 for Foundation grant and scholarships over the past ten years.
By virtue of news notoriety of the Coachella Valley High School’s Arab mascot, the Foundation reached out t their Girls Golf team Coach, Pete Zuniga, to determine whether they would need new uniforms and team bags because of the pending logo re-design. What Coach Zuniga was able to convey was a much greater need for golf clubs for his team of novice golfers who come from families without the financial means to support their golf dreams.
In a poignant letter, Coach Zuniga conveyed the challenges of girls faced which include both cultural and economic constraints. In spite of the obstacles, the team, comprised of one senior and one junior and five sophomores were able to finish in the middle of their Desert League.
Coachella Valley HS was formed in 1910 and is located East of Indio, in Thermal. The community is largely Hispanic and golf, unlike soccer, is not particularly known or popular. But the girls who have embraced the game are motivated to improve and practice hard, according to their Coach.
After sharing their story with the Palm Valley Country Club Women’s Board Members, Sandy Woods and Linda Anderson, it was determined that the WSCGA Foundation would award a $5,000 grant to the school as well as provide 10 sets of Wilson golf clubs, team golf bags and team shirts.
On April 3rd, Coach Zuniga and the Coachella Valley High School held a heartfelt program at the High School library, where both faculty and the girls team members spoke, often emotionally about how much the award and golf equipment meant to not just the girls, but to the Coachella Valley High School community. In attendance were Palm Valley CC members, Sandy Woods, Jeannie Ayers and Linda Anderson as well as the Head Golf Professional, Malia Folquet. Also in attendance was Kathy Hughes, WSCGA Foundation President and Deb Long, Assistant Executive Director of the WSCGA Foundation.
As further incentive to the team, the Foundation arranged for the team to meet Lizette Salas at Mission Hills Country Club after attending the Kraft Nabisco Champions Junior Challenge on Monday, March 31st. Upon hearing of Palm Valley’s and the WSCGA Foundation’s generous grant to the club, Lizette surprised everyone by matching the $5,000 grant to the Coachella Valley High School program. She spoke to the girls about the opportunities golf can provide and that the most importantly, they should work as hard academically and to pursue their educational goals as well.
At the conclusion of Thursday’s ceremony, most of the girls left with their new clubs, anxious to practice and to pursue their golf dreams.