Palm Beach County Sports Commission
Announces Winners of Annual Scholarship
West Palm Beach, FL - The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is pleased to announce this year’s winners of its second annual scholarship awards. This scholarship is for students who exemplify sportsmanship, teamwork, citizenship and character development as accomplished through sports, sports activities, a healthy lifestyle and dedication to physical fitness.
The Palm Beach County Sports Commission Scholarship of $2,500 has been awarded to each of four Palm Beach County graduating seniors who have been accepted into a four-year university or college. Each Palm Beach County school was able to nominate two students for this scholarship opportunity.
"Choosing from such an academically accomplished pool of candidates was extremely difficult. This scholarship illustrates how the qualities of character, teamwork and leadership developed through participation in sports can have a positive impact on their work in the classroom." said Sports Commission Scholarship Committee Chairman, Guy Quattlebaum.
The following four scholarship award winners will be recognized with a Certificate of Scholarship presentation at their respective high schools.
Christian Brown is graduating from Atlantic High School with a 4.6 HPA. He was a state competitor and finalist in track and field, and was recognized as an All-American for the 110m hurdle. The Sun-Sentinel honored Brown as their Athlete of the Year in 2016. He excelled in football as well, by being recognized in 2015 as the JV MVP of the year and was part of the regional finalist team in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Brown spent his extra time, heavily involved with the Palm Beach County Youth Football League where he mentored and coached youth football players. He plans to continue his education at Princeton University.
Ty Hands is graduating from Palm Beach Lakes Community High School with a 4.9 HPA. He not only succeeded in track and field, but was named captain of his varsity basketball team two years in a row and took the team to the 8A Florida High School Athletic Association Final Four both years. Hands received numerous honors and awards throughout his high school career including Senior Valedictorian in his class of 559 students, Harvard University Book Awards recipient and was named a Wendy’s Heisman Scholarship State Finalist. He plans to attend Florida State University.
Justin Kolnick is graduating from Palm Beach Central High School. With a 4.3 HPA, he’s finishing in the top 8.5% of his class of 733 students. For the past two years, Kolnick participated in the National Honor Society and also completed his Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma. Alongside academics, Kolnick was part of Palm Beach Central’s All-Academic Team (players with GPA3.0 and above) for the past three years and earned All-County as a Cornerback. He plans to continue his education at the University of Miami.
Jason Pieri is graduating from Park Vista Community High School. He has a 5.11 GPA and ranked 3rd in his class of over 750 students. Pieri earned his Advanced International Certificate of Education (AICE) Diploma with Merit and is an AP Scholar with Distinction. He received the John Hopkins Book Award, and will also graduate as a Certified Medical Administrative Assistant and Phlebotomy Technician from Park Vista’s Medical Science Academy. Pieri was a successful multi-sport athlete, participating in football, track and weightlifting. He plans to attend the University of Florida in the fall.
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championship swings into
The Palm Beaches
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championship will return to PGA National Resort & Spa in Palm Beach Gardens on July 17 through August 1, 2018. This is one of the largest and most prestigious junior golf tournaments in the world, which features boys and girls competing in a variety of age groups. Over 600 golfers from more than 30 different nations will travel to The Palm Beaches to participate in this two-week event. This tournament will take place on four courses at PGA National Resort & Spa (Estates, Palmer, Fazio, Squire, & Estate courses).
The Optimist International Junior Golf Championship has taken place in Palm Beach County for 15 consecutive years. Boys from 10 to 13 years and girls from 10 to 12 years will compete from July 17-22. Boys from 14-15 years and girls between the ages of 13-14, will play from July 23-27. Boys between the ages of 16-18 and girls from 15-18 will compete from July 28-August 1.
No other junior golf tournament compares to that of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championship, which focuses on fair competition and cultural understanding among youth. This unique tournament offers as broad a field and expanded age groups as any other in its class.
Since 1978, Optimist-sponsored golf tournaments have served as a springboard for many of golf’s greatest players. Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Davis Love III, Tiger Woods, Michelle McGann and Nancy Lopez are just a few of today’s elite players who found their humble beginnings with the Optimists. Former champions and top finishers of the Optimist International Junior Golf Championships include Lexi Thompson, Beth Bauer, Jonathan Byrd, Jason Day, Bill Haas, Brittany Lincicome, Jeff Overton, Stacy Prammanasudh and Jennifer Rosales
Optimist has been involved in the sport of junior golf for more than 30 years by holding local, regional and international tournaments. More than 5,000 golfers compete in official Optimist District qualifying tournaments. The best of these golfers, along with international golfers from around the globe, advance to the annual Optimist International Junior Golf Championship.
This is one of the largest tourism generators for the summer. The 2018 Optimist International Junior Golf Championships is expected to generate over $3 million of total economic impact for Palm Beach County in addition to nearly 4,000 hotel room nights. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission’s partnership with PGA National Resort & Spa and Optimist has created 51,744 hotel room nights and over $36 million in economic impact over the last 15 years.
Cal Ripken Baseball is a Home Run for Tourism in
The Palm Beaches
Cal Ripken Baseball, one of the premier brands in little league baseball a will play ball in The Palm Beaches this summer. The Palm Beach County Sports Commission is supporting the Palm Beach Gardens Youth Athletic Association (PBGYAA) to host the Cal Ripken Baseball Rookie State Championship and the Cal Ripken Baseball 10U & 12U South Regional Championship at Gardens Park. This facility, which is in Palm Beach Gardens, is one of the premier youth baseball venues in Palm Beach County and maintains 8 lighted youth fields and 7 batting cages. In total, these tournaments will bring approximately 70 youth baseball teams, consisting of more than 900 players and over 3,000 total visitors from across Florida and the southeast region of the United States.
The Cal Ripken Baseball Rookie State Championship will take place from June 28 to July 1 and will determine the state title for the rookie division, which features youth players between the ages of 7 and 8. This tournament will field over 40 teams from across Florida. The rookie division requires machine pitches for batters. The Cal Ripken Baseball 10U & 12U South Regional Championship is scheduled from July 6-10, 2018. Approximately 30 teams will participate from across the southeast corridor of the United States. Teams, competing in both tournaments, are guaranteed to play a minimum of 3 games.
Cal Ripen Baseball hosts hundreds of camps and tournaments annually, including its prestigious World Series. This organization consists of 1 million participants with over 50,000 teams located throughout the nation, and is widely considered as the leading national youth baseball program
Cal Ripken Baseball is a home run for sports tourism. In total, these tournaments will bring approximately 70 youth baseball teams, consisting of more than 900 players and over 3,000 visitors, from across Florida and the southeast region of the United States. Cal Ripken Baseball is expected to create over $1.6 million in direct visitor spending while filling nearly 2,500 hotel room nights.
Check out the highlights of last year’s Cal Ripken Baseball tournament that took place at Gardens Park: