Junior Pass program brings kids to the Masters

By: Blayne Alexander Email
By: Blayne Alexander Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock, April 8, 2010

AUGUSTA, Ga. --- A trip to the Masters is a big deal for most people, but for kids getting in thanks to the Augusta National's Junior Pass program, it means so much more.

Ten-year-old Janice Williams has been looking forward to this day for weeks. She's already got her course all mapped out:

"Well, see Tiger Woods, pretty much!"

And after packing her lip gloss and getting a few last minute tips from her mom --

"Be good, be mannerable, say thank you, please, no thank you..."

Janice, her brother Daquan and their friend Skylar are getting ready to go on the ride of a lifetime.

"We don't really do anything like this," says Janice.

"We've never really been there before," adds Daquan.

As they join the sea of people making their way to the course, Janice can't help but realize how lucky they are.

"I never thought we would be around here," she says, looking around in amazement.

Augusta Urban Ministries is one of several local non-profits sending kids to the Masters through the Junior Pass Program. They hope the day will make an impact on the kids that will last beyond just the golf course.

"To me, the best part is giving kids recognition for what they're doing," says Rick Herring, Augusta Urban Ministries director. "They're not coming because they're special for the tournament, they're coming because they're special every day."

Augusta Urban Ministries will bring three children to the tournament each day. Other groups like Salvation Army and Golden Harvest Food Bank also received tickets to bring children throughout the tournament.

Janice didn't know much about Masters before --

"I know it's mostly important and causes a lot of traffic!" she laughs.

But now, she Daquan and Skylar know getting inside the tournament is a really big deal.

"Being in there is a really exclusive thing to be in!" she says.

And while it may be hard to convince their friends at school...

"They'll be like, that's too amazing!" says Skylar.

These three will have a lifetime of memories.

Herring says it's a big deal not only for the kids, but for the volunteers who take them; for most of them, it's also their first time at the Masters.

In order to be eligible, kids have to be between 8 and 16 years old. The badges are only offered for tournament days.

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