Chi Chi Rodriguez Makes Good on Promise to Mother Teresa

Chi Chi RodriguezMore than 30 years ago, Hall of Fame golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez and the late Mother Teresa were brought together by then President Marcos of the Phillipines. Mother Teresa asked the famous golfer a question that would change his life and the lives of countless children forever.

"I heard you were a poor boy but now you are a rich man," she said. "What are you doing with that blessing to help the other poor children of the world?” 

Moved to tears by her question and presence, Chi Chi realized that his main blessing was his ability to hit a golf ball and make people smile. As a result, he set out on a mission to use that gift and blessing to help others, especially at-risk children and the children of parents in the U.S. military.

Today, the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation (CCRYF) is able to help support Academy programs with proceeds from a public golf course and community sports complex. Chi Chi was among the first to develop partnerships with the private and public sectors.

 In partnerships with the City of Clearwater, the local Pinellas County School District, The First Tee, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Boys and Girls Club, these respected agencies bring critically needed programming to thousands of struggling children. The Academy also provides higher learning scholarships and college assistance.

Recently, our United States Congress awarded Chi Chi with a lifetime achievement award for his work with children around the world. The CCRYF has been touted as “the best program in the United States” for youth by Golf Digest magazine.

“This work knows no boundaries and it needs to outlive us all”, says the spry 74-year-old Rodriguez. “As a result we invite communities from around the world to embrace our success by visiting our 170-acre campus. They can learn about this unique collaboration and partnership between public and private organizations.”

The CCRYF ( has successfully assisted other communities who aspired to build a program based upon this model. For more information, please contact Cary Stiff at 727-725-3393, or


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