Supporting America's champions, one player at a time
In June of 2012, America’s Golf Team (AGT) founder, Myra Blackwelder, received a call from Chris Wagner, father of 15-year-old junior golfer Samantha Wagner. He called to ask for financial assistance to help “Sam” attend the USGA Girls Junior in San Francisco in July. The Wagner parents, both Florida real estate agents, were experiencing financial hardship related to the severe downturn in their local market. Blackwelder promised to research possible sources of funding from golf industry organizations and nonprofits. Calls were made to several organizations; the family obtained a $1,000 grant from the Florida Golf Association, but the grant was not enough to cover the cost of the trip. Three days before Samantha needed to fly to the event, Blackwelder formed the America’s Golf Team Booster Club and raised $1,800 on Facebook in one day, taking pledges from enthusiastic donors who helped send Sam to the national championship.
Later that summer, after a 3rd place finish in the PGA Junior Series Championship, Sam qualified for the US Junior Ryder Cup Team. Traveling to Chicago by herself, Sam arrived at the official hotel for the US Junior Ryder Cup Team and was unable to check into her room. The hotel required payment from juniors up front to be reimbursed several weeks later. Unable to pay for the hotel, Chris Wagner reached out to AGT to help with arrangements for Sam’s hotel room.
AGT raised additional funds to cover the cost of the hotel room. Later that fall, AGT also helped Samantha attend the AJGA Polo Championship and year-end
banquet to receive her AJGA All-American award.
Fast forward a few years. We are happy to report that Samantha made the SEC All-Freshman Team as a Florida Gator in 2016. America's Golf Team kept her dream alive! Congratulations Sam!