Pinecrest seniors win U.S. Kids Foundation scholarships

Seniors Jade Neptune and Grant Oldham have been named recipients of the 2020 U.S. Kids Golf Foundation Scholarships given for the 11th consecutive year.  They will each receive $750.

The scholarships were announced in honor and recognition of the more than 700 World Championship volunteers and will mark the 15th year that U.S. Kids Golf, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, has held the Championship on 13 of the Pinehurst area courses.

Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for U.S. Kids Golf, commended the Sandhills area volunteers and the student winners.

“We are proud that Jade and Grant give their time for community activities, much like our volunteers do,” said Vonderkall.  “They represent what our organization stands for, and at this time, we are happy to pay tribute to the countless number of hard-working volunteers, without whom our championships would not be possible.”

These scholarships were given to students from the area who demonstrated exceptional citizenship, community service, willingness to serve as a volunteer, and their extra-curricular activities.

Jade lives in West End with her parents Michelle and Quent Neptune. She founded The Gap Project during her sophomore year to help make extra-curricular activities available to all students, regardless of financial ability.  Jade has also authored two self-published collections of poetry, is active in the nationally acclaimed Pinecrest Speech and Debate team, is a member of the National Honor Society and is the founder and president of the Pinecrest Democrat Club.

After her graduation from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she plans a career in law, leading her to public office, advocating for social justice.  Her mission is to serve others, while giving back to the community and people who have given so much to her.

While her final semester at Pinecrest was certainly unprecedented due to COVID-19, she is very proud to be a Patriot, especially noting how the community did everything in their power to make the Class of 2020 feel special and celebrated.

“I absolutely loved our graduation and thought it reflected perfectly the spirit of our class,” Jade added. “Since my mission in life is driven by serving others, I am honored to be the recipient of the U.S. Kids Golf Scholarship, and I’m happy that U.S. Kids Golf has the same mission. I couldn’t be prouder to represent such an amazing organization by receiving a scholarship from them.”

Also from West End, Grant is the son of Greg and Becky Oldham.  He has been quite active in Boy Scouts, serving as Assistant Senior Patrol leader, Chaplin’s Aide and he received the coveted Eagle Scout Award.  Oldham was Drum Major for the award-winning Pinecrest Marching Patriots for three years and participated in all band-related fundraisers.  He volunteered for the Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast and Stop Hunger Now.

Grant is considering Nursing or a Social Studies education at Appalachian State University, with each affording him the opportunity to help others.

“Helping others is what I love to do and I feel that a career that involves making a difference in other people’s lives will help make the world a better place,” he said. “It was very disappointing to have our last year at Pinecrest cut so short, but the graduation ceremony we had was very unique and special.

“I appreciate all the hard work and dedication from the organizers of the ceremony to make it a memorable event. Also memorable was receiving the email indicating that I had won the U.S. Kids Golf scholarship, and I was surprised and delighted to be chosen by the scholarship committee.”

With school being closed because of Coronavirus concerns, there was no Awards Celebration Ceremony for Seniors this year.  Each recipient was notified via email.  As in years past, their scholarship will go to the school of their choice, applied to their scholastic account.

The U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a Georgia non-profit recognized as a 501(c)(3) public charity, was created in 2001 and provides services that include competition and instruction. The Foundation organizes more than 1900 golf tournaments for kids each year with over 12,000 individual players ages 5-18.

These tournaments include Local Tours in over 90 cities worldwide, eleven U.S.–based Regional Championships, seven international multi-day tournaments which includes the prestigious European Championship, and the pinnacle events held each year in Pinehurst, North Carolina, the U.S. Kids Golf World Championship and World Teen Championship.

For more information about U.S. Kids Golf, please contact Lane Andrews ([email protected]) at 770-441-3077, ext. 625.


Courtesy photos/Contributed.

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