by Shelby Jacobson Hunt

Since the passing of our late PNWPGA Section President, Sean Fredrickson, the team at the Fredrickson Family Memorial Foundation has been hard at work to honor our dear friend with an opportunity to get more youth players into golf and expand diversity in our game and profession. The FREDDY initiative (Forming Relationships to Expand Diversity and Develop Youth) launched early this year. The goal is to reach players who may not have yet considered golf as a profession or even a hobby. This year we have 12 participating clubs across our Section who have hired an “intern” to learn the ropes of golf operations: from tournaments, to merchandising, and even course maintenance. We want to take the opportunity to introduce a few of our first-year participants.

Chas Holmes from Yakima Country Club has selected Aimee Penaloza, a freshman at West Valley High School in Yakima, WA. Aimee is not yet sure what she wants to study in college, but she already loves science. Her father introduced her to golf when she was really young, taking her to the driving range and lessons at the First Tee when she was just 7 years old! We are excited to have Aimee in our program and look forward to seeing her progress in her golf career.

From Willamette Valley Country Club, John Grothe has selected Andrew Edmunds, a senior at Oregon State University from Sherwood, OR. He is currently finishing up his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is planning to dive into the PGM program once he graduates. Andrew grew up playing baseball but was always surrounded by golf through family. Andrew says, “I am very relieved and excited to be able to say I have found my calling and the best part is that it’s surrounded by good people, a few clubs, and a little white ball.” We look forward to having Andrew join the golf industry and be a part of the FREDDY Initiative.

Colin McMahon from The Creek at Qualchan has selected high school junior Mateo Risse from Ferris High School as their Freddy Intern. Mateo is originally from Guatemala and was adopted when he was 6 months old and moved to Spokane, WA. He plans to join the band and play for the boy’s golf team this coming year. Mateo would like to go to a 4-year college where he can double major in business and psychology to make a difference in people’s lives, big or small. He also hopes to play golf in college as well! Mateo’s passion for golf came from his dad who taught him when he was 5 years old. He competes in tournaments throughout Washington and Idaho and told us how much golf has taught him about life.