The Fellowship Open has selected Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman and ReDonna Rodgers as honorees for this year’s annual charity golf event that will take place on Friday, August 13, 2010, at the Silver Spring Country Club. Junior Bridgeman, former NBA professional basketball star, and owner and president of Bridgeman Foods, Inc., and ReDonna Rodgers, co-founder and president of the Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Milwaukee, will be honored for their entrepreneurial spirit and outstanding contributions to youth in their communities.
The Fellowship Open is the largest golf tournament in Wisconsin, which promotes diversity and youth organizations in Milwaukee. Since its inception in 2001, the Fellowship Open has contributed more than $500,000 to more than 50 youth organizations.
“The 2010 honorees embody exactly what the Fellowship Open is all about,” said John Daniels Jr., one of the founders of the Fellowship Open and chairman of Quarles & Brady LLP. “Demonstrating success to our community youth is so important and our honorees have done it through example, hard work and commitment. They are great role models to honor and recognize.”
Each year the Fellowship Open recognizes leaders who are making a difference in the lives of children. Junior Bridgeman, a former basketball star for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Clippers, is the recipient of the 2010 Fellowship Open Legends Award. Before his tenure as a basketball player, Junior received his B.A. in psychology from the University of Louisville. His leadership skills continued off the court during his 11 years with the NBA Players Association as a player representative, treasurer and president.
Junior is now the owner and president of Bridgeman Foods, which oversees several franchises, including more than 150 Wendy’s Restaurants. Junior has received many prestigious awards, both personally and professionally, and is one of the most respected restaurant entrepreneurs in the country. He has a strong commitment to community service and is an active supporter of children’s organizations around the country.
ReDonna Rodgers, a well-known children’s advocate, is the recipient of the 2010 Fellowship Open Community Leader Award. She co-founded Milwaukee’s Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship (“CTE”) in 1991. CTE originated out of her strong desire to provide youth a greater understanding of the connection between education and the business world; its resulting mission is to expose youth ages 9-24 to personal and professional growth experiences through programs and coaching related to financial literacy and entrepreneurship.
The Center has assisted more than 60 businesses started by young people under age 24 and served more than 14,000 youth through various initiatives. ReDonna has received local and national recognition for her ability to encourage and support young people.
Each year, the Fellowship Open selects several organizations to support and highlight their achievements. The organizations must have a long and consistent record of empowering children and improving character development. The 2010 Fellowship Open will be raising funds for the Milwaukee County Council, Boy Scouts of America; Solomon Community Temple United Methodist Church; Transitions: Men of Tomorrow; and the Chuck Rhodes – Fellowship Open/YMCA Youth Scholarship.
Contributions Committee chairman, Joe Kennedy, states, “Each year, we are amazed by the remarkable activities of so many people to positively influence youngsters. There are many unsung heroes in the community who undertake efforts simply to make this a better place for everyone. We are proud to acknowledge four remarkable organizations this year.”
The Fellowship Open board is comprised of more than ninety leading members of the Milwaukee community, including elected officials, business leaders, attorneys, physicians, educators, and media and sports personalities. University of Wisconsin basketball coach Rob Jeter, former Milwaukee Brewers CEO Ulice Payne, Quarles & Brady Chairman John Daniels, Jr., former Green Bay Packer Willie Davis, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration Michael Morgan, Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler are among the prominent figures who participate.
The Fellowship Open has been recognized nationally for its innovative approach to involving youth organizations in its annual event. Achievements include sponsoring youngsters to attend the national Black Enterprise Entrepreneurial Conference, where young people learn the basics of entrepreneurship, and sponsoring programs that impart life skills in order to provide children with insight into a variety of careers and encourage them to pursue their dreams.
Each year a group of youngsters are invited to participate at the event and meet with the honorary chairs. All of the youngsters who are involved are also given the opportunity to participate in a project that provides knowledge about job interviewing, job training and effective ways to operate in a work environment.
Registration for the 2010 Fellowship Open golf tournament is open and reservations may be made at www.fellowshipopen.com.
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