Paula Creamer wants to be known for more than winning golf tournaments and a passion for the color pink.
At 21, she realizes meaningful relationships and a giving spirit endure beyond on-course accomplishments.
That's why Creamer gets excited talking about next Saturday's Paula 4 Kids Celebrity Event at Lakewood Ranch Golf & Country Club, where she and fellow LPGA Tour star Morgan Pressel will perform amazing feats of ball-striking to benefit The First Tee of Sarasota/Manatee, which uses golf to teach youngsters such core values as honesty, sportsmanship, responsibility and confidence.
The event is open to the public at a cost of $25. Students from the Sarasota/Manatee First Tee chapter will participate.
Creamer's involvement with The First Tee began after a whirlwind week in the spring of 2005 in which she won the Sybase Classic and received her high school diploma.
"Looking into the kids' eyes is such a rewarding feeling," said Creamer, who graduated from The IMG Academy School and trained at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy-Bradenton.
"It's incredible - they look at you like you have all this information they want to take and use. I've been given so many opportunities to try and achieve my dreams. One thing you truly can't have enough of is support, and hopefully we can give other boys and girls the same chances I've had."
Two years ago, Creamer established one-year scholarships to IMG Academy and the DLGA for two area First Tee students. And at the inaugural Paula 4 Kids event last March at River Strand Golf and Country Club, her enthusiasm for the cause shone through her performance.
Despite overcast, windy weather, Creamer hit most of her approaches close and rolled in birdie putts of 20 and 30 feet.
"In those situations, when it's for such a good cause, you want to play well," said Creamer, who lives in Orlando but visits Bradenton often to work with her instructor, DLGA director David Whelan. "I don't like to lose, so I'm going to give it my all in every competition and every drill. I always try to give 110 percent because it will help me down the road in a tournament."
Creamer and the 19-year-old Pressel are involved in a different form of giving this week. Before heading to Lakewood Ranch, they'll take part in Sunday and Monday's Morgan and Friends Fight Cancer Tournament at St. Andrews Country Club in Pressel's hometown of Boca Raton, along with LPGA cohort Brittany Lincicome and Luke Donald of the PGA Tour.
Pressel's mother, Kathy Krickstein Pressel, lost her battle against breast cancer four years ago.
Since then, Pressel was crowned 2005 U.S. Women's Amateur champion and beat Creamer to the punch in the professional majors department, winning last year's Kraft Nabisco Championship. Both are poised to challenge the dominance of Lorena Ochoa, who has supplanted Annika Sorenstam as the LPGA's top player.
"We have a good friendship and a lot of respect for each other," Creamer said of Pressel, her teammate on the victorious U.S. Solheim Cup Team against Europe. "We're both very competitive - we're not going to quit out there. I think one of the reasons we get along so well is we're going to grind to the end and try to win, but afterward we can go out together and get our nails done.
"It's going to be exciting bringing her out to Lakewood Ranch, and hopefully everyone will get to see great golf and ask a lot of questions."
Spectator tickets are available at area Edwin Watts Golf shops or can be downloaded at www.paula4kids.org . The day starts at 8:30 a.m. with a community golf event, with the celebrity clinic at 1 p.m. and the nine-hole exhibition following.
For details, call Mary Ann Andrews at 685-5072.