Golfers support local students learning real-world skills

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Volunteers at golf tournamentEarly in the morning on Wednesday, August 3, golfers will line up at Beaver Meadow Golf Course, waiting for the shotgun signal that kicks off the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce’s 34th Annual Funds for Education Golf Tournament. Presented by NBT Bank, N.A., this sold-out event draws professionals from across the Capital Region. Although players love the city of Concord’s beautiful course, delicious food provided by 19th Hole at Beaver Meadow, and exciting games and contests that make this tournament memorable, the real reason this event draws so many sponsors, players and volunteers is because of the cause that it supports.

After more than two years of frequently disrupted educational environments, students are craving learning experiences outside of the classroom. Each year, the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce presents two programs that offer real-world experiences for local students. These initiatives are made possible by the Annual Funds for Education Golf Tournament.

The Chamber’s Business Grants for Teachers initiative funds projects that give students opportunities to learn life skills or gain workforce experience. These programs are designed by local teachers who best know their students’ interests and needs. The Chamber has awarded over $161,000 to local teachers through this program, and the funded projects have covered a wide range of topics. Students from Pembroke Academy experienced Spanish language immersion by collaborating with students from other schools to present a bilingual festival; Broken Ground School established a culinary program to teach students cooking skills and provide real-world examples for math and finance; Concord High School students honed literary skills through the "We are America" project that focused on history and personal storytelling. “It’s important to support our teachers to expand outside their normal teaching practices in the classroom,” said Sean Skabo of Bangor Savings Bank. As Chair of the Chamber’s Business and Education Committee, Skabo helps determine which grant applications will receive funding from the Chamber. This committee prioritizes applications that support practical skill-building and connect students to business leaders in the community, where they can learn about different industries and career opportunities. “Thanks to all the participants in the golf tournament that make this happen,” said Skabo.

Another Chamber educational program is focused more deeply on students’ connections to area business leaders. Capital Area Student Leadership (CASL), generously underwritten by Northeast Delta Dental and supported by the golf tournament, is a highly-immersive program for high school sophomores to meet local professionals and civic leaders, develop leadership skills, and travel outside of the classroom to explore key businesses and government buildings. “[CASL] brings together students from different schools and backgrounds to learn how to work together towards a positive future,” said program committee Chair Beth Mulleavey of Bangor Savings Bank. This unique leadership program has inspired over 725 graduates to investigate job opportunities and career paths with local industry leaders. “I enjoyed talking to the business owners because I felt like I really benefited from hearing how they got to where they are now,” wrote a student in the 2022 program. Mulleavey continued, “CASL encourages students to use their voice in helping Concord continue to have a thriving downtown.”

Both CASL and Business Grants for Teachers would not be possible without eager golfers ready to tee off for a cause at the Chamber’s annual tournament. Players take their time enjoying the day on the course—stopping for gyros generously donated by NBT Bank, N.A., hot dogs prepared by Duprey Hospitality, LLC, snacks served by Servpro of Concord, and drinks provided by the The 19th Hole at Beaver Meadow, New Hampshire Distributors, LLC, Concord Craft Brewing Company, LLC and Coca-Cola Beverages Northeast. Many of the tournament contests are free, with special prizes for hole-in-one winners—a $1,000 shopping spree from Viking House or Hilltop Consignment, a 1K diamond from Capitol Craftsman & Romance Jewelers, and a brand-new vehicle from Banks Chevrolet-Cadillac, LLC. Players can choose to contribute further by participating in the air cannon contest, “Vegas Hole”, tournament raffle, or by purchasing a VIP Golfer Kit that includes extra opportunities to get ahead of the competition.

The tournament culminates in a lively BBQ-style luncheon, with awards presented to first, second and third place winners, along with longest drive, straightest drive, putting green contest champions and more. The luncheon is a great opportunity to network with fellow players and thank the generous sponsors that make the Chamber’s educational programming possible. This year’s major sponsors include NBT Bank, N.A.; Mason + Rich, Professional Association; Merrimack County Savings Bank; Servpro of Concord; The NHHEAF Network/EDvestinU; Orr & Reno, PA; Ledyard National Bank; Unitil; Bar Harbor Bank & Trust; Elm Grove Properties; CheckmateHCM; The H.L. Turner Group Inc.; and Northeast Delta Dental. To see a list of additional supporters and learn more about the Funds for Education Golf Tournament and the Chamber’s educational programming, visit concordnhchamber.com/golftournament.

Photo: Gary Tasker and Jennifer Tasker Pfeifer of Tasker Landscaping, LLC are longtime supporters of the Chamber’s annual Funds for Education Golf Tournament. They sponsor the event, serve on the planning committee, donate snacks for golfer goody bags, and volunteer in the early morning hours on tournament day to set up signage on the course.

Incorporated in 1919, New Hampshire's state capital chamber of commerce—the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce—develops economic opportunities, strengthens the business climate and enhances quality of life in the Capital region.

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