Sir Nick Faldo named winner of 2014 Payne Stewart Award

World Golf Hall of Fame member and six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo has been named the 2014 winner of the Payne Stewart Award by the PGA TOUR and Southern Company. Faldo will be honored in a private ceremony this evening in conjunction with the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Due to his father’s ailing health, however, Faldo was unable to make the trip from London; he will join the reception via satellite, and his son, Matthew, will attend to accept the award on Faldo’s behalf.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the Payne Stewart Award, which is presented annually to a player who exemplifies Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999. At the time, Southern Company was the sponsor of the event, and a year later, the PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart Award to honor his legacy. Southern Company, the Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR, has sponsored the award since its inception.

“Payne was an entertainer with a twinkle in his eye who brought a unique combination of passion and intensity both on and off the course,” said Faldo. “I’m delighted to be recognized in the name of one who was a true individual, a one-of-a-kind personality in this game and one who will always be remembered so fondly by his fellow players and golf fans around the world.”

Faldo’s career included 39 victories worldwide, highlighted by six major championships and 98 weeks atop the Official World Golf Ranking. From 1977 to 1997, Faldo made 11 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances and served as captain of Team Europe in 2008. Faldo now serves as lead analyst for CBS Sports and Golf Channel. His Faldo Designs company is a critically acclaimed golf course design group with 26 courses bearing his name around the world.

Between 1987 and 1996, Faldo won six major championships – three British Opens and three Masters Tournaments. Although he has a total of 39 tournament victories around the world, including six events on the PGA TOUR, Faldo’s focus was always on his performance in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. In one stretch between 1988 and 1993, Faldo was never out of the top 20 in a Grand Slam event.

“Nick has used golf as a platform to inspire people around the world, much like that of Payne Stewart,” said Commissioner Tim Finchem. “He has set a wonderful example for today’s youth and made an impact on countless lives. He will make a great addition to the list of recipients. ”

In 1996, Faldo created the Faldo Series to help identify and nurture the next generation of champions through grass-roots initiatives and development for more talented players. Today, 40 annual tournaments take place in 30 plus countries worldwide, spanning the UK, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. There are Championships in the US and Asia. The Faldo Series benefits approximately 7,000 young people annually from a unique combination of tournament experience and expert advice, including support and advice from Faldo himself.

Faldo becomes the 17th recipient of the award. The inaugural Payne Stewart Award was presented in 2000 to Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Ben Crenshaw was the 2001 recipient, followed by Nick Price (2002), Tom Watson (2003), Jay Haas (2004), Brad Faxon (2005), Gary Player (2006), Hal Sutton (2007), Davis Love III (2008), Kenny Perry (2009), Tom Lehman (2010), David Toms (2011) Steve Stricker (2012) and Peter Jacobsen (2013).

In addition to a sculpture by Bob Pack presented to the recipient, the Payne Stewart Award is accompanied by an annual Payne Stewart Award Grant made possible by Southern Company. The $500,000 grant supports several initiatives in Stewart’s name and is distributed as follows: $100,000 to Payne and Tracey Stewart’s primary charity, The Stewart Family Foundation; $100,000 in Stewart’s honor to The First Tee of the Ozarks located in Missouri at Kids Across America, which is affiliated with Kanakuk Kamps; and $300,000 to a charity designated by the winner. Faldo has chosen the Faldo Series to receive his portion of the grant.

“Nick Faldo is an outstanding choice to be this year’s Payne Stewart Award winner and commemorate the 15th anniversary of the award,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “Along with golf fans everywhere, I have for many years admired his athletic skills and – even more so – his commitment to enrich the lives of young people around the world.”

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Volunteer Spotlight: Dorothy Engberg

Years Volunteering: 5

Occupation: Retired

What drives you to volunteer each year? I love golf! I’ve been volunteering for 20 years at various events, including the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

What’s your favorite part of being a volunteer? It’s hard to pick one thing. I like it all!

What’s your favorite memory as a volunteer? Being a walking scorer for Tom Wrago.

What makes this tournament and its mission so special? What they have done for the East Lake community here. It’s wonderful!

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Volunteer Spotlight: Andy Crockett

Years Volunteering: 14

Occupation: Georgia Power

What drives you to volunteer each year? It’s an honor to be able to give back, both for Georgia Power and for myself.

What’s your favorite part of being a volunteer? Meeting people and doing whatever it takes to help.

What’s your favorite memory as a volunteer? Getting to know all of the wonderful people and getting to meet Tiger (Woods), Phil (Mickelson) and Tom Watson. Also meeting Jack Nicklaus.

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Vice President Biden Tours East Lake Early Learning Academy

Purpose Built Communities, a non-profit consulting firm working to end urban poverty, welcomed Vice President Joe Biden in March to Atlanta’s East Lake community. The visit was co-hosted by the East Lake Foundation whose work has transformed this neighborhood and is the premiere example of how the Purpose Built model can revitalize an entire community.

Vice President Biden visited the East Lake Early Learning Academy at the East Lake Family YMCA, one of the two early entry points to East Lake’s pipeline of high-performing schools that educates children from birth through high school. The East Lake Early Learning Academy serves children from birth to three years old, preparing them for pre-kindergarten with the social, emotional and literacy development skills needed to learn at high levels. High quality early learning is a core part of the cradle-to-college education pipeline of the Purpose Built Communities model for neighborhood revitalization. Vice President Biden also spoke with Purpose Built’s senior leadership about the community revitalization efforts in the East Lake neighborhood as well as across the United States.

“I was honored to meet with Vice President Biden this morning. We explained Purpose Built Communities’ holistic approach to community revitalization and our work with local leaders nationwide,” said Carol Naughton, senior vice-president, Purpose Built Communities. “Our model includes mixed-income housing, cradle-to-college education and community wellness. This has proven to be successful here at East Lake and our goal is to support more communities across the United States as they implement the model.”

The successful revitalization of the East Lake neighborhood began in 1995 and has shown consistent and remarkable improvement due to the dedication of community leaders and residents alike to transform their neighborhood. Today the results are striking:

  • Education: Almost 99 percent of fifth graders now meet or exceed state reading and language arts standards, and 100 percent meet or exceed math standards. The neighborhood elementary school that originally ranked last out of 69 elementary schools in the city is now the top-performing elementary school, while the middle school is the third highest performing middle-school in the Atlanta Public Schools system
  • Employment: Five times more adults work or are in job training in the community than in 1995
  • Surrounding neighborhood: After experiencing nothing but disinvestment for decades, the revitalization attracted some $200 million in additional commercial investment including new grocery stores, banks, new and more varied housing options, neighborhood retail and restaurants
  • Safety: There has been a 73 percent reduction in total crime, 90 percent reduction in violent crime and the crime rate in East Lake is now 50 percent lower than the overall city crime rate

“The East Lake Early Learning Academy at the East Lake Family YMCA is a critical partner in the East Lake Foundation’s cradle-to-college education pipeline. It provides our youngest learners the tools and resources to start ahead and not behind in their effort to be productive and engaged citizens in the future,” said Daniel Shoy Jr., president, East Lake Foundation. “Vice President Biden’s visit helps bring a national spotlight to the East Lake Foundation and Purpose Built Communities’ efforts to expand opportunity and access for children in communities across the country.”

In addition to its work with East Lake, Purpose Built has partnered with leaders in communities across the country in the effort to transform neighborhoods and stop the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Offering its expertise and guidance, without cost, to leaders in cities including Birmingham, Ala., Charlotte, N.C., Indianapolis, Ind., New Orleans, La., Omaha, Neb., Rome Ga., and Spartanburg, N.C., Purpose Built is helping struggling communities implement a proven model for success that can provide an end to poverty, substandard education, unemployment, health disparities and other challenges that threaten urban America.

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Foundation Celebrates First Day of School at Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy

July 29 marked the first day of school for students in the new Charles R. Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy at the Charlie Yates Campus in Atlanta’s East Lake neighborhood. The new campus will allow the Drew Charter School to expand to include high school grades, completing the school’s “cradle-to-college” education mission, a goal since the East Lake Foundation began its work in the community in 1995.

“The Drew community has been dreaming of this day for a long time,” said Don Doran, Head of Drew Charter School. “Drew’s successes can now be extended through the high school years, completing the vision for an educational pipeline in East Lake.”

The new facility, designed by local architecture firm Perkins + Will and built by JE Dunn Construction, is located adjacent to the current Drew Charter Elementary Academy campus on East Lake Boulevard and will ultimately serve 1,000 middle and high school students, bringing Drew’s total student population to almost 2,000 by the 2022-23 school year. The building is on the former “back nine” holes of the public Charlie Yates Golf Course. Notably, it engages neighborhood residents through creative use of recreational spaces that make the school a center for community. The 205,800-square-foot building includes:

  • Flexible learning suites to nurture Drew’s STEAM focus (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics)
  • Project-Based Learning labs for each grade level
  • State-of-the-art science, engineering and design labs
  • Integrated performing and visual arts studios
  • 525-seat performing arts center serving students and the community
  • Two gymnasiums and a full-size track and field for athletics and community wellness
  • The building is projected to earn LEED Gold certification

“Possibility takes place, and we are creating infinite possibilities for our students and community with the addition of the Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy,” said Daniel J. Shoy, Jr., president, East Lake Foundation. “The Drew Charter Senior Academy will prepare our students for college and life. Higher education breaks the intergenerational cycle of poverty, and a high-quality, seamless cradle-to-college pipeline is an essential component for East Lake to sustain the success of its revitalization.”

Charles R. Drew Charter School opened in 2000, as Atlanta’s first charter school. Over the last 14 years, Drew has made great strides in improving academic outcomes as well as providing students with access to arts, technology, sports and other co-curricular experiences.  Today, Drew is ranked among the top elementary and middle schools in the Atlanta Public Schools System, ensuring that children from all backgrounds have access to excellent education from cradle-to-college.