Golf, leadership take spotlight in program for girls

 
  Girls who participated in the Girls in Golf event 
  at Marian Catholic School on July 1 display their 
  written thoughts inspired by the workshop.
(Photos 
  by Brittney Ermon/H-F Chronicle)
 
Nearly 100 girls attended “Girls on Golf” at Marian Catholic High School July 1 for a program designed to not only teach them the fundamentals of golf but also to be leaders. 
 
Girls ages 8 to 18 took park in the event, sponsored by Exelon Corporation, KPMG and First Tee. The morning began with breakfast and was followed by a leadership summit. The four speakers were among some of the top women leaders in Chicago and each one brought something new to the table. 
 
The speakers explained that each letter in the word “girl” had a significant meaning. G stood for “Go getter,” I for “Innovator,” R for “risk taker” and L for “leader.” 
 
  Girls line up to get a chance 
  to get in a few golf swings
  following the workshop.

 
Flossmoor resident Mary Buschmann was among the parents who who attended the event with their daughters. She explained she was interested because of the learning opportunities.  
 
“We’ve been trying to instill confidence and leadership skills in our daughter,” she said. “We think that’s important for her as she gets older.”
 
The girls also had the opportunity to attend one of the rounds of the June 29 to July 2 KPMG Women’s Championship at Olympia Fields Country Club. Seven-year-old Amelia Buschmann said that was the most exciting part.
 
“It was cool because I was able to meet new people and it was really fun,” Amanda said. 
 
A golf lesson followed the leadership summit. Girls were divided into teams by age and rotated through seven different stations. The First Tee non-profit organization taught them how to hold a club, putt and drive. 
 
Irena Puchkoba, KPMG volunteer, assisted the girls during the golf lesson with encouraging words while motivating them to improve.
 
“It’s so awesome because they are eager to learn,” she said. "I just want to help them out to like something that’s active and show they can do it.”
 
Exelon Chief of Staff Betsy Jones said her goal was to make sure the girls got exposure to the game and they weren’t intimidated to go out to the golf course.

“This is a really unique event because it’s all girls,” she said. “It takes intimidation away because they are surrounded by their peers and are trying something new.”
 
Jones said she was very pleased with the event overall and looks forward to doing it again. 
 
“People were very happy and excited,” she said. “All I wanted was smiles from the girls.”
 

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