A Foundation for Young Lives


You know how it goes with athletes and kids. Slap your name on a foundation, get three or four dedicated souls to run it, let them do all the work, then go rest in your hammock and congratulate yourself on doing something for youth.
Well, that's certainly better than nothing. At the very least, the donation of a few thousand dollars means there's more money available than when your foundation started. I don't care if it's tax-deductible, somethin' is better than nuthin'.
Tiger Woods has a foundation. But his group is a little different. He gives of his money, true. He goes a step further and has outings to raise more cash. But then he goes a whole mile further and gets out and gets his hands dirty. He gets down where the rubber meets the road, teaching the young `uns one-on-one. He's only the best golfer in the world, showing your rug-rat how to hold the club. Glory be, that's Tiger Woods out there!
Woods does it because he was one of them not too long ago. He's doing it this year in the Williams World Championships played this weekend where the proceeds go to the Tiger Woods Foundation. 'I truly believe in what we do,' said Tiger, and you get the idea that this gig is a little different.
'I believe in junior golf,' he says. 'And I believe in kids. I believe in education and their pursuit of trying to be a better person. And without having an opportunity, some of these kids - some of the brightest kids - are out there, but they don't have a chance and it's unfortunate.'
Tiger Woods is an unusual situation and he knows it. He isn't married and doesn't have children himself, so he has the time to do something now. Who knows what his life will be like 10 years from now? But today, right now, he has the time. And if he doesn't have the time, he makes the time.
'We're here to try and change that, to try and give these kids a chance to become better than what they think they can. You know, it's just a matter of providing opportunity for them. Ultimately, it's up to them if they want to go ahead and challenge themselves to try and become a better person.'
He must know that all are not as talented as he was, all are not as driven to succeed. And golf, even for those who are close to a golf course, is an expensive sport. The First Tee, developed and administered by the PGA Tour, is building junior courses as fast as possible in some major cities. But the idea isn't widely in effect yet, and equipment is still costly. You just don't climb into the attic and get down grandpa's 50-year-old clubs. Adequate clubs are an expense - but a necessity.
And yet, Tiger knows that those who truly believe can truly become. They need just a teensy-weensy little bit of help.
'As far as tangible things, it's hard to say,' says Woods, honestly. 'There's so many different little things that have occurred.
'But from a selfish standpoint, I've been enriched by it. I've been able to meet some of the greatest kids in the world, and I've gotten to know them and experience what they have to offer the world. I mean, that's just absolutely incredible.
'Some of the kids are in hospitals and have cancer and have been fighting it and are going to die. It gives you a whole new perspective and meaning on it, and it makes you step back and realize what you have in life and what you can give back to other people who are in similar situations as those kids are.'
Some people are sitters, some are doers. Tiger Woods is one of the doers. What he does truly makes as impact.