Charities Will Lose Millions as a Result of Tournaments Being Scrapped
IT IS often overlooked that both the European Tour and PGA Tour raise millions of pounds for charity and that one of the most unfortunate side-effects of the lockdown and the cancellation of so many tournaments on both sides of the Atlantic is that organisations that would normally have benefitted from those events will have lost much-needed funding. And plenty of it.
Earlier this year, the PGA Tour announced that it had passed the $3billion mark in terms of giving to charitable foundations - that is an astonishing sum.
The Tour Championship alone has raised more than $29m since it was first staged at East Lake in 1998.
The PGA Tour’s charitable total includes a record $204.3m last year and includes donations made by tournaments on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Series-China.
And that is without taking into account the work done by individual players such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Webb Simpson, Stewart Cink and others. Sportsmen are often seen as being selfish and spoilt but golf is a shining example of individuals who realise how lucky they are and are happy to give something back.
“It’s a pleasure to thank our fans, sponsors, tournaments, players and volunteers for helping us generate over $3 billion for charity and positively impact millions of lives,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “As remarkable as this milestone is, what really matters are the countless stories that every tournament has. Together, we look forward to continuing to reach – and celebrate – millions more.”
The Tour Championship’s four charitable beneficiaries are the East Lake Foundation, First Tee of Metro Atlanta, Grove Park Foundation and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta.
The PGA Tour and its more than 100 tournaments across all Tours achieved the $3 billion mark just six years after surpassing $2 billion. The Tour achieved the $1 billion mark in 2005. The record $204.3m last year was nearly $15m more than was raised the previous season, which was itself another record. It all began way back in 1938, with a $10,000 charitable donation at the Palm Beach Invitational.
In America, the money raised by the PGA Tour helps more than 3,000 organisations. One of these is First Tee, which has introduced more than 15 million young people to its character-building programmes through the game of golf.
Every single Tour event provides individuals with a chance to give something back to the community in one of three ways: attending an event, volunteering, or donating money. More than 100,000 volunteers commit their time to ensure each event is a success.
For many years, the European Tour has also raised money for charity, supporting the likes of Rays of Sunshine, which provide wishes for terminally and seriously ill children, as well as Maggie’s Centre in Scotland, who care for those with living with cancer.
Launched in 2018, the Tour’s foundation allows the European Tour to embark on a far greater, global philanthropic strategy.
Through a programme of unique fundraising activities and the creation of empowering global charitable partnerships, the European Tour Foundation has an incredible opportunity to help improve lives and communities throughout the world.Last year they worked with charities that included Fighting Blindness, Claire House, Alzheimer’s Society, My Name’5 Doddie Foundation, and The Prostate Project.
Dozens of charities would have been counting on receiving more money this year from both tours - sadly, many of them will be left empty-handed.
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