August 2, 2022

Dear First Tee – Corning families, sponsors, donors and friends,

For 22 years, First Tee – Corning has had the privilege to serve a unique role in our community. Through the generous support of our sponsors, local golf courses, parents and youth service partners, First Tee – Corning has positively impacted the lives of more than 140,000 young people by providing opportunities to explore and learn the game of golf.  The Chapter has provided learning facilities and educational programs that promote character development and life-enhancing values through the game of golf. As a result, kids and teens have learned more than just golf; they have learned about respect, integrity, perseverance, responsibility, sportsmanship and how to apply these character traits to daily life.

This communication is to let you know the First Tee – Corning will be ending operations at the end of this summer. I will be making a career change to a new role in a different industry in the area.  The good news is that we have been working with our partners to ensure junior golf programming will continue going forward, just in a different way.

At our partner golf courses:

  • Corning Country Club will continue to offer its own PGA Junior League Golf Program that will remain open to any area youth.
  • Willowcreek Golf Club (Big Flats, NY) will offer summer programs in 2023 under the guidance of their teaching professional Matt Sternquist.
  • River Valley Country Club (Westfield, PA) will offer programming under the guidance of long-time First Tee Coach Jami Smith.

New programming:

  • The YMCA of Greater Rochester will launch youth golf programming both in the winter and summer at its two local facilities, the Corning Family YMCA and The Y at Watson Woods.

First Tee – Corning has worked with each of these partners, so they are ready to provide new and exciting opportunities for your golfers to continue to develop their love of this unique game.

First Tee – Corning is leaving a footprint in our community with its sponsorship of First Tee’s National School Program in four area school districts which introduces golf through elementary PE classes to thousands of students each year.  Additionally, other local youth agencies have been given equipment to continue the introduction to the game in gyms and parks throughout Chemung County.  First Tee – Corning’s legacy also continues through both the Horseheads and Corning-Painted Post High School Girls’ Varsity Golf Teams as each program began with the chapter serving as the catalyst and providing support as needed in both districts. 

It has been a tremendous honor serving the community for the past 14 years as the Director of the First Tee – Corning. But I am confident the connection of life skills and values through the game of golf will endure in the years to come.

Thank you,

For questions and inquiries, contact Dawn Marie Castellana, [email protected] or 607-974-5384.