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Golf Tourney to benefit Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa | Community Spirit

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Golf Tourney to benefit Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa
Golf Tourney to benefit Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa

Bartow, FL -- The Bartow Chamber of Commerce is getting ready for a Memorial day weekend of golf that benefits the Florida Sheriff's Youth Villa.

"In the minds of many, Memorial Day weekend is the beginning of summer, but for many living in Bartow, it is a time for thinking of others - in particular the girls at the Florida Sheriffs Youth Villa. The Florida Sheriffs Youth Villa Golf Tournament will hold its 48th annual event on Memorial Day weekend for days of fun and valuable community service to benefit the Villa," the chamber has announced.

"We're so proud that the money raised during the Classic will once again directly benefit the Girls' Villa in Bartow," said Freda Ridgway, Chairman of this year's Youth Villa Classic Golf Tournament Committee.

The Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches organization was founded in 1957 as a non-profit, residential child-care and family service organization. The vision of the ranch was to help neglected and needy boys from getting into trouble.

The cause gained national support and eventually the Youth Ranches grew into a multi-site, multi-service charitable organization.

The Florida Sheriffs Youth Villa in Bartow, originally called the Girls Villa, was founded in 1970. The idea was to provide the same structure, opportunities and guidance for troubled girls across the state. The first girls moved to the location at Peace River Park in Bartow in 1972. 

The Youth Villa has grown to include additional cottages, buildings, pasture for horseback riding, boat docks, chapel and a learning center. It has provided more than 1,000 girls with a secure environment to learn, grow, and create a new, healthy lifestyle for themselves.

Today, the Youth Villa campus has the capacity to serve 45 children, giving them the opportunity to become productive, responsible members of the community.

The Florida Sheriffs Youth Villa Classic tees off for the 48th consecutive year on Memorial Day weekend.

The event began in 1963 as the Armour Invitational, and later became the U.S. Agri-Chemical Championship, and evolved into the Youth Villa Classic in 1972.

The Classic is not only Central Florida's most prestigious 54-hole golf championships, but also a successful women's team tournament. Over the years, more than $1 million has been donated to the Florida Sheriffs Youth Villa in Bartow.

Last year's proceeds were used to buy vans for transporting the girls to events and activities.

The Youth Villa Classic is presented by the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce with the help of its advisory and executive committees.

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