This Golf Tournament’s Just for Kicks
By Chad Garner
Special to the Sentinel & Enterprise
FITCHBURG -- The goal of Karate For Kids is to provide local at-risk youth, who may not be able to afford it, an experience that encourages character development.
Fitchburg High junior Ethan Chandler is the founder of Karate For Kids -- a United Way Youth Venture program at FHS.
Chandler, who started taking karate when he was 6 years old, is continuing his mission to help youth in the area by conducting the first Karate For Kids Golf Tournament on May 18 at Westminster Country Club (51 Ellis Road, Westminster).
The goal of this golf tourney is to support additional scholarships for Karate For Kids.
“The inspiration really came from my golf coach, Paul DelleChiaie,” Chandler said. “I started golfing my sophomore year and enjoy it. Jake Thibeault and myself started discussing and developing plans for the tournament. All the money will go toward scholarships for kids to do karate and other activities that will further their character development, which include self-control and perseverance.”
Registration is at noon on May 18, followed by a 1 p.m. shotgun start. Dinner and awards are scheduled for 6 p.m.
The cost is $125 per golfer. Dinner guests are $40. All registrations are due by May 1.
Make checks payable to Karate for Kids, c/o Ethan Chandler, 176 Hurd St., Fitchburg, MA, 01420. Or Paypal at: paypal.me/KarateForKids2017
“I would like to Thank Westminster Country Club so much for their continued support in helping all of this happen,” Chandler said. “We also are very thankful for donations from local businesses, organizations and individuals. Everyone should expect to have a fun- filled, energetic day with lots of food, prizes and laughs.”
Karate For Kids has grown so much since Chandler first started it.
The original idea was to provide at-risk kids a karate experience even if they could not afford one. Recently, the venture club has discussed using funds to provide experiences beyond karate that continue to embrace character development.
“We have thought about scholarships for youth soccer, baseball and basketball,” Chandler said. “In the future, I hope to see Karate For Kids turn into an organization that provides hundreds of at-risk youth around the state opportunities they will need to further their character development.”
Chandler’s desire to help others comes naturally, he says.
“I have always wanted to be able to give back to my community in any way I can,” he said. “I have always wanted to make sure that money shouldn’t hold back kids from getting an experience they could benefit from. Also, it means more to me to give back to the kids of our community. Kids are our future and the more opportunities they get now, the better future they will have.”
Chandler officially launched his Youth Venture on February 14, 2017.
Last year, Karate For Kids awarded the program’s first scholarship to Fitchburg Public Schools student Me’Yah Newton. The $600 provided six months of karate training at Family Martial Arts Center.
“Coming this summer we have lots of things planned that may include another karate scholarship, as well as some other sports,” Chandler said. “We will be reaching out to get names of potential scholarship candidates.”