At just 10 years old, McKinney’s Avery Zweig has won over 160 golf tournaments and is currently ranked the No. 1 junior golfer in the world for her graduating class of 2025 by Junior Golf Scoreboard. She is the youngest person in history to have qualified for a USGA women’s event and is now using her golf skills to raise money for pediatric cancer through her charity, Win Green Campaign. We sat down to talk to Avery about what drives her. (Pun intended!)
How did the Win Green Campaign get started?
It all started three years ago when the janitor at my school got diagnosed with lung cancer. His name was Mr. Jeff, and everyone loved him. He went out of his way to be nice and would put a smile on your face when you saw him. I felt I had to do something and accepted pledges [during my tournaments] that year. I ended up raising $8,000 on my own for Mr. Jeff.
How much have your efforts grown since that first year?
The second year, we raised money for a 2-year-old with neuroblastoma. Four other kid golfers wanted to help me. We set a goal of $25,000 and raised $29,000. This year, we have grown to over 50 golfers. Our goal was to raise $100,000 [for a young girl battling acute lymphoblastic leukemia], and we raised over $200,000 in cash and in-kind donations, doubling our goal.
How do you and your fellow golfers approach donors?
Well, I don’t go out expecting money. I go out expecting to play my best and to give out bracelets and raise awareness. It’s a really fun experience for me. Because of golf, I have to be personable, and I think this has really helped develop my skills.
How does it make you feel to help others in need and make such a positive impact on their lives?
It feels great! But honestly, I don’t really think about it much. I love utilizing my skills to help people in need. I can’t really describe it but I love it.
What are your thoughts on having such a big responsibility at such a young age?
I think I have to be a leader because there are kids out there watching me and seeing what I’m doing [who] are empowered by it. Our whole thing is to utilize our skills to help those in need. So, I feel like I have to do that and always put my best effort into fundraising and playing golf.
What would you say to other kids who have a passion to help but feel they are too young to make a difference?
I would just say to start small. You have to set your goals and be goal-oriented. With fundraising, I always think of the kid who is battling cancer and know I’m so fortunate to be playing in a golf tournament. Whatever you want to do, you just have to stay motivated.