DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., – Celebrating International Women’s Day, officials with the LPGA and the Velocity Global Impact Award Committee today announced that In Gee Chun has won the inaugural Velocity Global Impact Award thanks to a fan vote that ran on LPGA.com between February 21-March 6. The award recognizes Chun’s dedication to growing the sport of golf and inspiring the next generation of athletes through her efforts and actions as the proud founder and generous donor to the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Educational Foundation, which provides scholarships for Lancaster Country Club (LCC) employees, their dependents and caddies to further their educational goals. With the award, Chun and the In Gee Chun LCC Educational Foundation will each receive $100,000 compliments of Velocity Global.
“It’s high time that female athletes get the recognition they deserve for their philanthropy, leadership, and athleticism,” said Sarah Fern, Chief People Officer at Velocity Global. “We’re delighted to recognize In Gee Chun for her dedication to empowering the next generation of women athletes to do the same. In Gee Chun has gone above and beyond to ensure members of her community have equal opportunities to advance their education and careers, many of which through the very foundation she created. We’re thrilled to partner with the LPGA to bring awareness to this amazing woman and a future generation of talented young athletes.”
“Thank you Velocity Global and the LPGA for launching this meaningful award and for sharing each of our stories to inspire the next generation to have a positive impact on the world,” said Chun. “I’m honored and thankful to be the first recipient of the Velocity Global Impact Award as it will greatly support the growth of the In Gee Chun Lancaster Country Club Educational Foundation by financially supporting the future education and dreams of the Lancaster community. I also want to thank the selection committee for choosing me as one of the finalists, and everyone who participated in voting. This would not have been possible without you.”
Chun’s inspiration for the foundation came during the week of the 2015 U.S. Women’s Open at Lancaster Country Club in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. While walking home from dinner one evening, Chun saw many fireflies lighting up the sky, which she said inspired her to be a light to others. Chun would go on to win the U.S. Women’s Open, her first of three major titles, and launch the In Gee Chun LCC Educational Foundation shortly thereafter.
The mission of the In Gee Chun LCC Educational Foundation is to make a lasting impact in the Lancaster community by providing scholarships for students seeking to achieve their educational and vocational goals. After growing up in a relatively poor family, Chun values her education and wants to make a difference to help those who may not otherwise have access to getting a college degree. The program has helped 10 current recipients with scholarships and access to education.
“She cares about education so much and wants to be able to make that possible for others. I think that is just really selfless,” said Camille Zapata, a host at LCC and one of the 10 current recipients of the scholarships, along with her brother Christian, a banquet server who is studying Speech Pathology at Penn State University.
“Having the scholarship made it possible for me to transfer to a different school that’s actually a little bit more expensive,” said Camille, who is now doing a double major in Political Science and International Relations at Boston University thanks to a $10,000 annual grant from the Foundation. “It is great for your studies, but it also makes you appreciate your job and the work you do at LCC.”
Nathan Schell, the new Assistant Grounds Superintendent at LCC, is a prime example of LCC reaping these long-term benefits. Schell, who benefitted from the scholarship, graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Turfgrass Science and Management.
“There is not enough light shed on the golf industry as a potential career path. The scholarship gave me a great opportunity,” said Schell, who was working 20 hours a week while studying and did an internship at Congressional Country Club, located outside Washington D.C.
Chun was one of three finalists, along with Lizette Salas and Mariah Stackhouse. Salas and Stackhouse will each receive $25,000.
“LPGA Tour athletes are more than golfers – they are dedicated, passionate members of their communities and are deeply committed to making a positive impact on those around them,” said LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan. “Like the LPGA’s 13 Founders, today’s players continue to inspire the next generation of girls and women through their actions on and off the golf course. All of us at the LPGA are incredibly proud of In Gee, Lizette, Mariah and so many of our players who use their unique platform to elevate and inspire.”
As an Official Partner of the LPGA’s Women’s Network, Velocity Global has utilized the LPGA platform to highlight internally focused initiatives around women’s leadership, diversity, equity and inclusion through additional programming.
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About the LPGA
The Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) is the world’s premier women’s professional golf organization. Created in 1950 by 13 pioneering female Founders, the LPGA, whose members now represent over 60 countries, is the longest-standing professional women’s sports organization. Through the LPGA Tour, the Epson Tour, a joint venture with the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Professionals, the LPGA provides female professionals the opportunity to pursue their dreams in the game of golf at the highest level. In addition to its professional tours and teaching accreditation programs, the LPGA features a fully integrated Foundation, which offers best-in-class programming for female golfers through its junior golf programming and LPGA Amateurs chapters, tournaments and membership. LPGA aims to use its unique platform to inspire, transform and advance opportunities for girls and women, on and off the golf course.
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Christina Lance, LPGA