New Jersey teen’s fundraising efforts are a hole-inone for Lowcountry group

First TeeChristopher Gaeta isn’t from Hilton Head Island, but the Lowcountry has earned an elevated place in his heart.

The 17-year-old New Jersey native comes to the island several times a year to visit family and work with golf instructor Rick Barry. He also spends part of his time on the island volunteering at The First Tee of the Lowcountry.

Last December, Gaeta went a bit further with his support of the organization, making The First Tee of the Lowcountry the beneficiary of his fundraising efforts through the American Junior Golf Association’s Leadership Links program.

In just six months, Gaeta has raised more than $7,000 and is approaching his initial goal of $8,500. Thanks to fund-matching agreements with AJGA and Transamerica, the actual total going to the program is more than $13,000.

“It’s out of this world,” said Nick Dunham, program director for The First Tee of the Lowcountry. “He has never been a part of The First Tee program, he just loves what the program is all about and wanted to help out.”