SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For six years, one local organization has been using personal tragedy as a vehicle for change.
The WTOC Community Champions with the LB4 and After Foundation are creating new opportunities for young people in Savannah by introducing them to golf.
In trying to give back, Lawrence “Bunny” Bryan III is actually giving forward.
“I grew up here. This was my home away from home, the Frank Callen Boys Club It means so much to me,” Bryan said.
Bryan and his wife, 3rd District Alderwoman Linda Wilder-Bryan, started the LB4 and After Foundation to help local youth when their son was murdered in Savannah in 2015.
“Our vision is to team up with individuals and organizations so we can provide tools and create programs for change and measurable growth and opportunity to youngsters who just couldn’t afford it.
They provide 1,500 bags of school supplies at a back-to-school event each year and on Easter this year gave a car to a single mother experiencing transportation issues.
This week, the WTOC Community Champions donated golf clubs and equipment Bryan gathered from members of the Savannah Golf Club where he works to the Frank Callen Boys and Girls Club so even more kids can be included in the club’s new golf program.
“We’ve been doing football and basketball and now to add the golf program, the sky is the limit for these kids,” Michael Hamilton said.
“It just wasn’t in the cards when I was growing up. I could not afford golf shoes, tee times, golf clubs. I thought about it and I said, you know what, I have to do something for the Boys and Girls Club because they’ve done so much for me.”
Bryan already operates a summer golf program for several local youth organizations on Mondays during the summer.
“Frank Callen came out there, the WW Law Center came out there, the Grant Center came out to the camp.”
And now more kids at the Callen Club can discover a game that Bryan only came too late in life.
“I have a host of members who came out and helped out, because I’m just learning myself. But I am going to provide that opportunity to these kids who couldn’t ever afford to do it.”
“These kids, they’re ready to go right out there and play now and they’re excited - they might try today. That’s why we’re going to put it up, so they won’t go out and bust somebody’s windows. We will put it up until late May, early June and start the program and I think they’ll do it three or four days a week.”
And just maybe for the rest of their lives.