IRVING (CBSDFW.COM) – The best golfers from around the world have descended on North Texas this week for the 35th annual AT&T Byron Nelson tournament at the Four Seasons in Irving. Players hit the course on Tuesday for practice, with the first round of play beginning on Thursday.
The golf tournament is a huge draw for sports fans. Organizers have called it the most financially successful PGA event by far. But you do not have to know how to play golf to have a good time. There are fun, family-friendly activities planned at the Four Seasons all week long.
It also has an impact beyond sports. Even by just being a spectator, visitors are helping a worthy cause. Money raised from the event helps boys and girls in our communities. The Momentous Institute is completely funded by the AT&T Byron Nelson and the Salesmanship Club.
The tournament raises nearly $6 million every year for the nonprofit school, which focuses on the mental health of students, therapy programs for families, and research and training for educators. It serves children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade in south Dallas.
Students go on to public schools after fifth grade. By the time that they are high school seniors, 98 percent of the Momentous Institute’s children will graduate, and 82 percent of the kids go on to higher education. The key to this success is prioritizing a child’s social and emotional health on the same level as academics.
“We think it’s a mixed puzzle,” said executive director Michelle Kinder. “Our biggest piece of the puzzle is that focus on social, emotional health, and really helping kids understand their emotions and reactions and relationships. We’re confident that it’s that skillset that helps them navigate whatever comes at them after they leave us.”
You will probably see some of the school’s kids out on the golf course this week, acting as junior caddies and reporters. North Texas native and champion golfer Jordan Spieth will even be hosting a youth golf clinic on Tuesday. The AT&T Byron Nelson tournament moves to Trinity Forest Golf Club next year, but support for the Momentous Institute will remain the same.
“Every single person that is out there is part of our capacity to change the odds for kids, and most of them don’t know it,” said Kinder. “We would love for everyone of them to know that all the fun they’re having is resulting in a transformational change for kids.”