by Sue Ann Rybak

Many little girls have dreamed of having a fashion show, but a fashion show for girls’ golf clothes? That’s exactly what will happen thanks to an original idea by 12-year-old Caitlyn Plover, an Our Mother of Consolation student and Roxborough resident, who will work with First Tee Girls’ Golf program and Lilly Pulitzer to realize her dream of hosting a fashion show fundraiser for her girls’ golf club.

The fundraiser called “Tee Time Tournament and Fashion Show” will be held on Aug. 6 at Union League Golf Club at Torresdale, 3801 Grant Ave., from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All proceeds benefit the First Tee’s Girls Golf program.

William Hyndman V, executive director of The First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, said the nonprofit positively impacts the lives of today’s youth “by providing educational programs that build character, instilling life enhancing values and promoting healthy choices through the name of golf.”

“At First Tee, golf and life lessons are seamlessly incorporated into each experience,” he said. “In addition to covering the fundamentals of the golf swing, and the game, kids are taught life skills lessons such as communication, self-management, goal setting and overcoming challenges.”

Rebecca Caimano, program director for First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, was Plover’s coach when she first started the program five years ago; she recalled Plover suggesting they host a fashion show for Girls Golf at First Tee of Greater Philadelphia’s Annual Gala. Plover said at the time it was just an idea, but with the help of First Tee of Greater Philadelphia and Lilly Pulitzer, that idea will soon become a reality.

Caimano, who played golf in high school, recalled having to wear a men’s golf shirt because she was the only girl on the team. She said girls don’t want to wear a white polo shirt and khaki on the golf course. Being able to wear vibrant, colorful, comfortable golf clothes will allow girls to feel more confident on and off the golf course.

Eleni McCready, a spokesperson for Lilly Pulitzer, said that when the company first learned about Plover’s idea, “it was an immediate yes.”

“The goals of the First Tee of Greater Philadelphia, and this event in particularly, clearly align with Lilly Pulitzer’s mission of inspiring confidence and optimism in women and girls,” she said.

“The fashion show is a fun celebration to close out a great event that begins on the golf course. The girls from the First Tee are our models and they have picked out their looks (which they get to keep) themselves during an outing to Lilly Pulitzer Suburban Square. Just as our product offerings have everything you need for a beautiful summer day, from the golf course to the beach and everything in between, so will the styles that the girls confidently wear that day.”

Caimano said that through Girls’ Golf and this event, Plover, who will be entering seventh grade in September, will get to show the world what girls can do.

“At Girls’ Golf, we get to be who we are and we’re comfortable with that and each other,” she said. “Girls’ Golf teaches us that as girls we can do what we set our minds to.”

First Tee of Greater Philadelphia offers four weeks of youth golf lessons for just $15, and the nonprofit provides all the equipment. Youth ages 6 to 18 are invited to learn and play. For more information about First Tee of Greater Philadelphia or the Tee Time Tournament and Fashion Show, visit First Tee’s website.

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