The First Tee of Naples/Collier Named Host Organization

Charitable donations exceed $200,000 in 2011

Naples, FL
– The First Tee of Naples/Collier has been designated as the official host charity for The ACE Group Classic which will take place February 13 – 19 at The TwinEagles Club and celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Champions Tour event in Naples. The event also announced that over $200,000 was donated from the 2011 tournament.

“We have a tremendous opportunity to be involved with an organization that helps young people in all facets of life,” said Jeff Kleiber, Executive Director of The ACE Group Classic. “It’s been incredible to support so many outstanding charities, including The First Tee of Naples/Collier for the last four years. We look forward to continuing our work together on a grander scale to increase the funding, education and opportunities provided to youth in the community.”

As The First Tee of Naples/Collier nears its’ own anniversary, 2012 will mark their fifth year as a chapter, the relationship with Champions Tour event has continued to build off the success since beginning work together in 2008 when the Naples/Collier chapter was a beneficiary of the tournament.

“As the Exclusive Sponsor of The First Tee of Naples/Collier, Arthrex is very excited that our Naples/Collier chapter has become the host charitable organization of The ACE Group Classic,” said Reinhold Schmieding, President and Founder of Arthrex, Inc. “We’ve seen firsthand what an impressive program The First Tee of Naples/Collier is and the direct impact it has had on a significant number of children learning character building skills with the ethical game of golf.”

Of the 1.5 million young people helped by The First Tee program since it began nationwide in 1997, many have come from the South Florida area.  The ACE Group Classic supports our host organization in their vision to find “All the Time” golf access for the children in The First Tee of Naples/Collier.  This relationship will support their mission by providing ample learning opportunities for kids throughout the area.

In 2011 alone, over $200,000 in cash and in-kind gifts was donated to ten charitable groups throughout Southwest Florida and Philadelphia, where the ACE Group is headquartered, including: The First Tee of Naples/Collier, The First Tee of Philadelphia, Allie’s Friends Foundation, Education Foundation of Collier County, YMCA, Northside Naples Kiwanis, Alzheimer’s Support Network, American Red Cross, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the Make A Wish Foundation.

“We’ve experienced much success through our efforts with The First Tee of Naples/Collier in the past so we are all very happy to be working alongside Cindy Darland, Executive Director of the chapter in creating a lasting influence in the lives of young people throughout South Florida,” said Lesley Baker, Tournament Director of The ACE Group Classic.
For more information on the The ACE Group Classic, visit or find the tournament on Facebook and Twitter at and