ABA Banking Journal - February 2014 - (Page 48)
The game of life
Retired banker helps teens get a grip on clubs and goals
Playing golf is a part of many retirees'
plans, but retired bank president Harold
Curry takes those plans a step further. He
serves as chairman of the board of directors
for the Midnight Golf Program, which is a
30-week empowerment and mentoring program
that teaches life skills along with golf
to Detroit-area teens.
Midnight Golf was established in 2001
by Reneé Fluker, a retired state employee,
and since its founding, 869 young people
have participated in the program. Midnight
Golf (the name comes from a nighttime
basketball program) meets twice a week at
Marygrove College in inner-city Detroit.
PGA of America professionals teach the
participants golf at a practice facility and
four-hole short course designed for the program
by noted course architect Tom Doak.
In addition to golf instruction, the highschool
seniors learn life skills from other
instructors. Financial literacy is among the
skills, and includes information on college finance and banking, along with a
12-week stock market game that demonstrates investment education.
Curry was drawn to the program by his desire to help the young participants
successfully "read the green" on the path to their goals. "I was introduced to the
Midnight Golf program by a good friend," Curry wrote in an
email response to questions. "After visiting the program
and coming back to be with the group of young adults
that were eager to learn [and] had a desire to interact
and draw information from those individuals
who were willing to share knowledge, it became
obvious that I had to be involved and to help these
young people in any way that I could to achieve
their goals and dreams."
Curry has been with the program since 2005
and continued his involvement even after retiring
as district president for southeast Michigan from
Michigan Commerce Bank in 2011.
Curry handles fundraising and ensures that the program
meets its mission of improving underserved young adults' personal
development, education preparedness, and appreciation
of the game of golf.
Midnight Golf appears to have landed "close to the
48 | ABA BANKING JOURNAL | FEBRUARY 2014
Retired banker Harold Curry with some Midnight Golf students returning from
the program's six-day Road Trip to Success. Each year, the program takes high
school seniors to visit colleges and play golf at college and other golf courses.
flagstick" in meeting its mission as
96% of the 2011 participants went on
A golfer himself, Curry enjoys the
social aspects of the game and the
natural beauty of the courses he has
played around the country. But he
also believes that the game shares
many similar tenets with life. "The
game of golf is the ideal sport to teach
life skills," he explained. "It teaches
self-reliance, etiquette, practicing your
skills, integrity, and many more."
And it's these skills that Midnight
Golf seeks to impart to its participants.
"We talk about careers in the
financial industry, becoming an entrepreneur,
and corporate cultures,"
noted Curry, "along with the education,
personal commitment, and other
items required to achieve their goals."
-Ashley Bray, contributing editor
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - February 2014
Pass the Aspirin
Main Street's Mr. Fix it
Wealth management of the many
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ABA Banking Journal - February 2014