Locally, The First Tee of Connecticut offers several scholarships that are available only to young people active within the chapter; a summary of each scholarship is included below. Completed scholarship applications must be returned to The First Tee of Connecticut’s office by Friday, May 19, 2017.  Applications may be returned via mail, fax or email.  Finalists may be contacted so that interviews can be held during the final week of May and the first week of June.  All interviews will be held at the David & Geri Epstein Learning Center in Cromwell.  All scholarship recipients will be notified no later than June 15 and an official, public announcement will be made as part of our annual Patron’s Breakfast on Saturday, June 24 during the Travelers Championship.

Click here to view and download The First Tee of Connecticut’s 2017 Scholarship Application.  This is a common application that is to be used for ALL scholarships except the Dan Novarr Scholarship.

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Qualifications for The First Tee of Connecticut Scholarships

  • Elementary School, Middle School, High School or College Student as of Fall 2017
  • Enrolled at a school that requires paid tuition
  • Participant, coach or volunteer in The First Tee of Connecticut programming for at least 1 year
  • Community or School Involvement
  • Maintain representative grades within your current school and grade level
  • Essay Responses

William P. Lyons Memorial Scholarship

Introduced in 2009, The William P. Lyons Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to The First Tee of Connecticut youth member or members who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the following areas: academics, leadership skills, character development, and chapter and community involvement.

Mr. William P. Lyons (1909-1969) served for many years as the principal of Boardman Trade School in New Haven.  In 1957, a new vocational school was founded in Hamden to replace Boardman Trade.  Mr. Lyons was in charge of building the new school and was the initial director of Eli Whitney Technical School from 1957 to 1963.  He retired in 1963. The William P. Lyons Scholarship Fund was created by his son, William P. Lyons, Jr. (1941-2008) to recognize his father’s dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of young people.


Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation Scholarship

The Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation has joined with The First Tee of Connecticut to award scholarships to deserving young people within the chapter.  The Andrew K. Dwyer Scholarships are awarded to those who participate in The First Tee of Connecticut programs, demonstrate academic excellence, are actively involved in their communities and plan to continue their education at the college/university level.  The Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation pays the scholarship directly to the college or university each year.

The Andrew K. Dwyer Foundation was established in February of 2003 following Andrew’s tragic death in a car accident during his sophomore year at Yale University.  Andrew possessed a tireless enthusiasm for life and was a young man of extraordinary kindness and concern for others.  Andrew’s family, friends and admirers created the Foundation to honor him by aiding less advantaged children.  The Foundation supports scholarships as well as athletic and extracurricular activities that provide opportunities for the less advantaged.


Donald E. Vacheron Scholarship

Furthering its mission to impact the lives of young people throughout the state, The First Tee of Connecticut has created the Donald E. Vacheron Memorial Scholarship.  This scholarship will be awarded annually to the The First Tee of Connecticut youth member or members who have demonstrated exceptional achievement in the following areas: academics, leadership skills, character development, and chapter and community involvement.  Each winner will be known as a Vacheron Scholar.  The individual amount awarded to each Vacheron Scholar will be determined by the Scholarship Committee according to the applicant’s qualifications, total number of applicants and the amount of scholarship funds available each year.

Don Vacheron was an early member of the Connecticut Golf Foundation’s (CGF) Board of Directors.  In May of 2004, the CGF and The First Tee of Hartford formally merged operations to become The First Tee of Connecticut (TFTCT). Don’s leadership during this time of change helped The First Tee of Connecticut become a strong, efficient and financially stable organization.  Don was The First Tee of Connecticut’s first Chairman of the Board and held this position until his passing in 2005.


Walking for Kids Foundation Scholarship presented by DJ Gregory

In late 2009, D.J. Gregory formed the Walking For Kids Foundation which allows PGA TOUR Professionals and sports fans the opportunity to support several children’s charities.  Some might remember the great journey that D.J. started on TOUR back in 2008.  By the end of his journey in late 2008, D.J. had walked well over 988 miles and followed 3,256 holes on TOUR.  Players, fans, and people from around the world took notice of D.J. and his accomplishment.

D.J. Gregory fell in love with golf at the age of twelve, when he first began watching the game on television and attending local tournaments with his dad.  But unlike other golf fans, D.J. never dreamed of playing professionally, becoming a ranked amateur, or even a caddie.  When D.J. was an infant, doctors told his parents that he would probably spend his life in a wheelchair because of cerebral palsy.  But that didn’t keep D.J. from trying to beat the odds; he endured five surgeries and learned to walk with a cane.

The Waking For Kids Foundation Scholarship will award the participant who has shown perseverance in their life, in much the same way that DJ has in his.


H. Grant Thomas Scholarship

Grant Thomas was a longtime member of the business community in the Hartford area.  As an executive with Aetna, he used his charisma and zest for life to advance his career and endear himself to those around him.  Mr. Thomas had a passion for sports and children and through the scholarship set up on his behalf, The First Tee of Connecticut is proud to extend that legacy to our participants.  This award is based on more than just academic success; it is intended for those participants who are well-rounded and outgoing young people.  The H. Grant Thomas Scholarship is open to students entering or currently enrolled in high school, or entering or currently enrolled in college.


The Epstein Family Scholarship

Since 2014, the Epstein Family has continued to support The First Tee of Connecticut through this scholarship program that awards approximately $15,000 annually to young people within the chapter.  Mr. David Epstein was a National Trustee to The First Tee and through that support, and additional gifts from the family, the David & Geri Epstein Learning Center opened in Cromwell in September 2013.  Mr. Rob Hess represents the Epstein Family on The First Tee of Connecticut’s Board of Directors.

Mr. Epstein began his professional career in advertising, and later established a commercial real estate investment and development company.  The David and Geri Epstein Private Foundation provides grants for medical research and educational opportunities including a college scholarship program for Staples High School graduates.  We are thankful to be part of their goal to support the next generation of young people.


Dan Novarr Scholarship

As a young man, Dan Novarr played many different sports.  When he was barely a teenager, he had a locker for $.25 at Keney Park to store his clubs and would play every chance he got.  As a young father, he coached many of his two sons’ Bloomfield youth sports teams.

To Dan, the most important things to teach these young people were Honesty, Integrity, Sportsmanship, Respect, Courtesy, Judgment, Confidence, Responsibility and Perseverance.  When Wintonbury Hills opened in 2003, it became a second home to Dan and since it was on his way home, why not stop and play?  Everyone enjoyed playing with him because he would encourage you, clap for you, joke with you, repair every divot and read the greens for you.  Dan would love his legacy to be exposing youth to golf (or sports in general) while teaching them life lessons.

As a tribute to Dan, The First Tee of Connecticut is awarding a $1,000 scholarship to a Bloomfield resident who graduates as part of the Class of 2016 (attending any high school) and that demonstrates academic achievement and the Core Values of The First Tee of Connecticut.  The funding for this scholarship is provided by the Dan Novarr Memorial Golf Tournament and is sponsored by the Wintonbury Men’s Golf Association, his family and friends.

Please note that you must be a Bloomfield resident and member of the Class of 2017 (attending any high school) to apply for the Dan Novarr Scholarship.  Click here to view and download the 2017 Dan Novarr Scholarship Application.


19 Iron Scholarship presented by the Downey Family Foundation

The 19 Iron Scholarship is being established this year by the Downey Family Foundation (DFF) whose focus on education and youth aligns well with The First Tee’s Nine Core Values.  A $1,500 scholarship will be awarded to an applicant(s) with a passion for both education and golf, but who lacks the resources to fully pursue his or her educational goals.  The “19 iron” was the favorite, custom-made club of William K. Downey Sr. whose 34 children and grandchildren run the Downey Family Foundation.   Many of them are avid, if not skilled golfers.  Their father/grandfather passed in September of 2015.


Qualifications for The First Tee of Connecticut Scholarships

  • Elementary School, Middle School, High School or College Student as of Fall 2017
  • Participant, coach or volunteer in The First Tee of Connecticut programming for at least 1 year
  • Community or School Involvement
  • Maintain representative grades within your current school and grade level
  • Essay Responses

Deadline for completed applications is Friday, May 19, 2017.  Part of the application process for all local scholarship finalists may include an interview with The First Tee of Connecticut’s Scholarship Committee during the final week of May and the first week of June.

Applications may be mailed, faxed or emailed to:

The First Tee of Connecticut
Attn: Scholarship Committee
55 Golf Club Road
Cromwell, CT  06416
(860) 788-6612
info@thefirstteect.org