Leadership Award

In 2009, the Ray Kenda Nine Core Values Leadership Award was established in honor of former board member Raymond Kenda. Mr. Kenda was the former superintendent of the City of Hammond Park Department and was currently employed as a marshall at the Lost Marsh Golf Course. He was also a member of the Hammond Park Board, the Hammond Parks Foundation and the Gophers Golf Club. The award is presented to a high school student that demonstrates the values associated with First Tee, including integrity, honesty and perseverance.
The First Tee of [Lake County] motivated me by genuinely investing in me. They gave a stage for me to spread my wings athletically through the game of golf, while giving me leadership skills & abilities that I can use in my professional endeavors. - Arlen Sims

In order to be eligible for the Leadership Award, the applicant must:
  1. Be a rising high school Sophomore or Junior;
  2. Attend half of all Junior Advisory Committee Events, annually;
  3. Complete ten (10) hours of volunteer service with First Tee of Lake County;
  4. Submit one Letter of Recommendation from someone NOT affiliated with First Tee;
  5. Apply to two local, regional, or national academies; and
  6. Provide answers to the following questions:
    • How has involvement in First Tee impacted your life outside of golf?
    • Tell us about a hobby outside of golf and why you enjoy it.
    • What is your favorite core value? You are not limited to First Tee's nine core values; you may write about any value that live by such as, accountability, loyalty, family, creativity, and service.
    • What is one thing you would change about the golf industry?

Ray KEnda Nine core values Leadership Award application
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Previous Award Recipients
Recipient Year
Arlen Sims 2009
Valeria Degutis 2010
Beckey Seligman 2011
Matthew Harnisch 2012
Tyree Davis 2013
Peyton Puckett 2014
Perry Chong 2015
Michael Harris 2016
Kelsey Hayes 2017
Hannah Heller 2018