The First Tee, a national and international nonprofit youth development organization, has established Hancock County's first-ever program site through the John Cook Family Foundation at Red Hawk Run Golf Club. The First Tee positively impacts the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf for kids ages six through 18.

Cooper Tire is the presenting sponsor, establishing The First Tee Cooper Tire Training Center at Red Hawk, which includes a six-hole, par three course and a driving range, and will eventually also include a pavilion that will be used for group meetings and other activities related to the goals of the program. The First Tee sessions are being held every Tuesday and Thursday evening at Red Hawk and those interested may register with The First Tee online at www.thefirstteelakeerie.org.

According to Anthony Brock, Executive Director of The First Tee site for Hancock County and a certified The First Tee coach, the program is off to a fast start in the community. "Findlay/Hancock County has embraced The First Tee in a huge way," Brock said. "We just got started June 30 and already have approximately 150 boys and girls of all ages in the program, which is well on the way to meeting or possibly exceeding our goal of 200 for the first year. This is an amazing level of participation that more than doubles any other The First Tee site in the Lake Erie Chapter. We are thrilled to be here and look forward to helping local kids develop their character at the same time they develop their golf game."

"Cooper believes in the power of this program to help transform lives," said the company's Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President Roy Armes. "This organization allows kids—who without The First Tee may never be exposed to the game of golf—learn how to play. Yet, most important, is the way this organization helps build values such as honesty, integrity, confidence, sportsmanship, perseverance and good judgment that will help young people make the right choices throughout their lifetime. We are proud to be associated with The First Tee and happy to help bring this tremendous program to Hancock County for the first time," he added.

On behalf of the John Cook Family Foundation, Jim Cook, father of celebrated pro golfer John Cook and an experienced tournament manager of the Professional PGA Tour and Senior Tour as well as a golf course designer and course management expert, noted that his team has vast experience running successful The First Tee programs. "The John Cook Family Foundation was awarded the very first chapter of The First Tee in Ohio—The First Tee of Greater Columbus with Cathy Cook as Executive Director—which grew to more than 700 young golfers and their families. We are looking to establish that type of successful program here and become one of the leading sites in the nation. This community is already demonstrating that there is a real demand for a program that can help kids come away with stronger values as they are learning the game and having fun," he said.

About The First Tee

Since its inception in 1997, The First Tee has steadily grown into a robust national and international youth service organization, impacting, influencing and inspiring more than 10.5 million young people in all 50 states and several international locations. Headquartered in St. Augustine, Florida, The First Tee is an initiative of the World Golf Foundation and its Founding Partners, the LPGA, the Master's Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR and the USGA. Former President George W. Bush serves as honorary chair. The First Tee reaches young people on golf courses, in schools and at other youth service locations. For more information, visit www.thefirsttee.org.

About Cooper Tire & Rubber Company

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: CTB) is the parent company of a global family of companies that specializes in the design, manufacture, marketing and sale of passenger car and light truck tires. Cooper and its subsidiaries also sell medium truck, motorcycle and racing tires. Cooper's headquarters is in Findlay, Ohio, with manufacturing, sales, distribution, technical and design operations within its family of companies located in more than one dozen countries around the world. For more information on Cooper, visit www.coopertire.com, www.facebook.com/coopertire or www.twitter.com/coopertire.

View source version on businesswire.com: http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20150716006354/en/

Copyright Business Wire 2010