Nonprofit promotes golf instruction and playing opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities
CHICAGO — Grant Thornton LLP, one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms, has named the I GOT THIS Foundation to its Purple Paladin program, which helps emerging nonprofit organizations move from “start-up to unstoppable.” As part of the program, Grant Thornton provides funding, business advice and volunteer support, while also helping nonprofits raise awareness of their work and mission.
The I GOT THIS Foundation was founded in 2019 by the family of Amy Bockerstette, the first person with Down syndrome to receive a college athletic scholarship and compete in a national collegiate championship. The foundation helps inspire young golfers and educates the public on what’s possible for people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.
“Through our programs, we watch athletes become better golfers, as well as more confident and independent individuals,” said Tracy Hupko, executive director of the I GOT THIS Foundation. “We provide not only the training that all golfers need, but experiences everyone deserves: the ability to travel, meet new people, make memories and gain skills to thrive on and off the course.”
The I GOT THIS Foundation — named after Bockerstette’s “I got this” mantra — works to diversify the game of golf. The organization strives for its athletes to play with their peers, join their high school teams and even obtain college athletic scholarships. It also works to ensure players enjoy the benefits of golf that are found outside of the game itself — and have a community where they’re treated like everyone else.
Currently, the organization provides golf instruction and tournaments in Arizona serving more than 100 athletes and Playing Partners. In 2023, that number is expected to grow to nearly 300 individuals across Arizona, California, Texas, Colorado, Louisiana and more.
A deepening commitment to golf
Grant Thornton’s support for the I GOT THIS Foundation represents a deepening commitment to diversifying the game of golf. The firm recently announced that it is working with The PGA TOUR and LPGA Tour to launch The Grant Thornton Invitational in December 2023. The new mixed-team tournament will see LPGA Tour and PGA TOUR players compete together in a unique co-sanctioned event ― playing for an equal prize and visibility. The mixed-team format is new to the current era of professional golf and the first of its kind in almost 25 years.
Grant Thornton also supports men and women’s golf programs at six Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The goal is to grow the game of golf and create new opportunities for student athletes, on and off the course.
Additionally, the firm supports the Cameron Champ Foundation in hosting the Mack Champ Invitational, a tournament for the games’ best junior golfers of diverse backgrounds.
"We know barriers are part of the golf course, but they shouldn’t be part of the game,” said Seth Siegel, CEO of Grant Thornton. “Supporting the I GOT THIS Foundation is an important part of our firm’s ongoing efforts to diversify the game of golf ― one that mirrors the diversity-oriented approach we’re bringing to the accounting and consulting industry. It’s all about building communities through inclusion.”
To learn more about the I GOT THIS Foundation, visit www.igotthis.foundation.
The I GOT THIS Foundation joins 15 other 501(c)(3) nonprofits that Grant Thornton previously selected as Purple Paladins. They include:
- Women in Training is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that dedicated to ending “period poverty”. To learn more, visit womenintraining.org.
- Digs with Dignity is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps elevate the lives of those transitioning from homelessness by furnishing their houses to create a dignified home. To learn more, visit digswithdignity.org.
- Fair Opportunity Project is 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers high-quality college counseling resources at no cost to aspiring students. To learn more, visit fairopportunityproject.org.
- Free Mom Hugs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that creates allies who support the LGBTQIA+ community through visibility, education and conversation. To learn more, visit freemomhugs.org.
- WeaveTales is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps refugees of all kinds share their stories via books, exhibits, films and other channels. To learn more, visit weavetales.org.
- Warrior Reunion Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that reconnects combat veterans via life-changing reunion experiences. All events are provided at no cost to those who attend. To learn more, visit warriorreunionfoundation.org.
- Go Team Therapy Dogs is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that produces well-trained therapy dogs and places them at disaster sites, hospitals, and other places where they can offer comfort and care. To learn more, visit goteamdogs.org.
- Find Your Anchor is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on suicide prevention. To help people who are struggling to find hope, the organization creates and distributes boxes of curated items known as “anchors.” To learn more, visit findyouranchor.us.
- Foster Nation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps former foster youth overcome the challenges associated with ‘aging out’ of the foster-care system. To learn more, visit fosternation.org.
- Hope in a Box is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides educators with literature, detailed curriculums and coaching to improve classroom environments for LGBTQIA+ students. To learn more, visit hopeinabox.org.
- Weird Enough Productions is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that develops free, interactive online content designed to combat media misrepresentations of minority communities. The organization is best known for its hallmark comic book series, “The UnCommons.” To learn more, visit weirdenough.com.
- Invisible Hands Deliver is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that taps more than 12,000 volunteers to deliver groceries, prescriptions, and other necessities to people vulnerable to COVID-19 and facing hunger insecurity — including the elderly, disabled and immunocompromised. To learn more, visit invisiblehandsdeliver.org.
- Pal Experiences is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that helps people with non-visible disabilities — such as autism — have more inclusive experiences at museums, entertainment venues, sporting events and more. To learn more, visit palexperiences.org.
- Sneakers for Soldiers is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides properly-fitted athletic shoes to deployed combat troops in all branches of the military. To learn more, visit sneakersforsoldiers.org.
- Coming Up Rosies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that provides “smile kits” to hospitals so children — particularly those suffering from hair loss — can engage in therapeutic art activities to create custom head scarves, neck scarves and superhero capes based on their own unique designs. To learn more, visit cominguprosies.com.
Grant Thornton’s Purple Paladins program derives its name from the word paladin, a champion of a cause. Grant Thornton and its professionals have donated more than $1 million to Purple Paladin nonprofits, and more than 650 Grant Thornton professionals have volunteered their time and skills to support to the firm’s Purple Paladins.
To learn more about Purple Paladins, or to nominate a nonprofit for potential support, visit Grant Thornton’s website: www.grantthornton.com/PurplePaladins.
About Grant Thornton LLP
Grant Thornton LLP (Grant Thornton) is one of America’s largest audit, tax and advisory firms — and the U.S. member firm of the Grant Thornton International Ltd global network. We go beyond the expected to make business more personal and build trust into every result. With revenues of $2.3 billion for the fiscal year that ended July 31, 2022, and almost 50 offices nationwide, Grant Thornton is a community of more than 9,000 problem solvers who value relationships and are ready to help organizations of all sizes and industries create more confident futures. Because, for us, how we serve matters as much as what we do.
“Grant Thornton” refers to Grant Thornton LLP, the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International Ltd (GTIL). GTIL and the member firms are not a worldwide partnership. Services are delivered by the member firms. GTIL and its member firms are not agents of, and do not obligate, one another and are not liable for one another’s acts or omissions.
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