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  • Feature Story

Chicago Area Girls Putt Around with LPGA Golf Legend, Nancy Lopez

Nancy Lopez with unnamed girl at Lake County Golf Course

August 22, 2017

Eighty girls, ranging in age from 7 to 17, arrived from communities around Chicago to enjoy a great day of fun and golf instruction. Joined by World Golf Hall of Famer, Nancy Lopez, the girls practiced their swings, improved their putting and - more importantly - had fun meeting new friends.

Sports, such as golf, give girls an increased sense of empowerment and greater self-esteem while decreasing the risk of developing anxiety or eating disorders. The Women’s Sports Foundation also reports fewer unintended pregnancies, better grades and higher graduation rates for girls who participate in high school sports.

“Golf opens a lot of doors for you,” Lopez said in a Golf Channel interview. “If they can play the game, enjoy it, have fun and be part of a team; and then create a life for themselves by going to school and getting that degree, that’s a positive thing.”

UL employees, passionate about empowering young women, volunteered to participate in the event. Ayo Dahunsi, a marketing manager at UL and co-chair for the UL Women in Leadership Business Resource Group, said that she volunteered because it was a great opportunity to meet with and impact girls in the community.

“I’m glad that I work for a company that not only makes the world safer through our services but is also proactive in influencing our communities in a positive way,” says Dahunsi.

“Part of our mission at UL is to contribute to building better societies. We’ve done a lot of work in the past with public education and safety research, and we said, this is another way for us to extend the mission of UL,” commented Keith Williams, president of UL. “What better way to do it than through girl’s golf?”

The girls, who participated in additional activities, such as creating vision boards, got much more out of the event than learning a new sport, ending the day with smiles on their faces.  The full day of activities left them with a very positive experience and built meaningful memories to help guide their futures.

As for influencing and inspiring the future of the game?

“The dedication and discipline needed to learn and excel in a sport, such as golf, can affect their academic and professional future,” says Williams. “Which is why I hope they find a way to make golf a part of their long term life.”