|Making a positive impact on the communities where PGA TOUR tournaments are held and players live is a primary focus in the golf organization’s charitable mission with the Together, anything’s possible campaign.|
The PGA TOUR and its tournaments generated a record $160 million for charity in 2015, marking the first time they surpassed the $150 million threshold in a single year. This total includes donations made by tournaments on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, Web.com Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada, PGA TOUR China and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.
With the announcement, the all-time total donated to charity is $2.3 billion since the first charitable contribution of $10,000 was made by the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational. Of that total, more than $1.3 billion has come since the TOUR surpassed the $1-billion plateau in 2005. The $2-billion mark was passed in January of 2014.
Entering its seventh year, Together, anything’s possible is the platform to share the PGA TOUR’s charity story and offers a greater focus on the charitable activities of TOUR stakeholders.
The Together, anything’s possible website (PGATOUR.com/together) has been an effective tool in telling the positive stories of tournaments, players, sponsors, charities volunteers and fans and has been a centerpiece in communicating the TOUR’s charity message. Since its launch in 2010, the site has received more than 4.7 million page views.
The Together, anything’s possible platform continues to grow in terms of player and tournament involvement, with over 300 players and charity profiles from all tournaments among PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Web.com Tour featured.
Under the Together, anything’s possible platform, the TOUR has committed resources to further promote each player’s charitable activities, whether through television, advertising, or digital support that will enable fans to get involved in their favorite players’ charities. The TOUR offers assistance to both players, who are currently engaged in charitable activities, as well as those interested in getting started.
“I feel like playing on the PGA TOUR almost comes second,” said two-time PGA TOUR champion Jonas Blixt. “What we get to do for charity, what the PGA TOUR gives back to the community, is the greatest thing about playing on the PGA TOUR.”
The success stories over the last several years are countless.
In June 2010, Jim McGlothlin, a member of the PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties Board, organized “The Big 3 for the Mountain Mission Kids,” a one-day tournament featuring Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. This event, which benefited the Mountain Mission School, raised an astounding $15.2 million in a single day.
|In 2011, country music star Darius Rucker wrote a song “Together, Anything is Possible,” in which proceeds from downloads were distributed to PGA TOUR charities, The First Tee and Birdies for the Brave.|
Phil Mickelson and his wife, Amy, began the “Birdies for the Brave” program in 2004 as a way to support charities that build homes for disabled troops, provide educational opportunities for the spouses and children of servicemen and women killed in action and other avenues of support. In December 2012, the Mickelsons, along with The Greenbrier Resort owners Jim and Cathy Justice, hosted the Birdies for the Brave Pro-Am and Gala at TPC Sawgrass to benefit nine military home front groups.
In 2013, the PGA TOUR Wives Association celebrated its 25th anniversary through a variety of events and activities, including the creation of a cook book, also observing the organization’s history as told through the personal stories of TOUR families. Since its incorporation, the Association has supported children’s charities across the country by raising money and performing a myriad of services, ranging from Habitat for Humanity builds to cooking in soup kitchens to fitting children for glasses, to filling school backpacks for kids in communities where tournaments are held.
Players are using the Together, anything’s possible platform more and more to assist with their own charitable initiatives.
Erik Compton, who has played five years on the PGA TOUR despite two heart transplants during his lifetime, donates his time and energy at PGA TOUR events to promote Donate Life America, an organization set up to spread news about the importance of organ donation. He appears at clinics and hospitals and visits with transplants patients while also making media appearances.
For several years, the Kate and Justin Rose Foundation has helped students who participate in school lunch programs. For many of those students, lunch at school Friday is the last meal until they return Monday for breakfast. The “Blessings in a Backpack” program ensures these students have food over the weekends. In addition to the financial assistance, the Rose family helps empower less-than-fortunate kids with what they deem to be life’s most valuable lesson: when you can see it, you can be it.
In August 2015, the vision of Ernie and Liezl Els came to fruition with the grand opening of the Els Center for Excellence. The Center, based in Jupiter, Fla., serves local, national and international autism communities and is a game-changing resource in the field. Els’ philanthropic focus, along with the way he carries himself on and off the golf course, led to him being named the 2015 Payne Stewart Award recipient.
Players continue to become involved in the causes about which they are passionate. Jason and Ellie Day launched their Brighter Days Foundation in 2016 and held a fundraising event at Muirfield Village Golf Club to benefit children’s charities in Ohio.
The players, tournaments and communities are encouraged to share their stories through the Together, anything’s possible platform. It’s not only an avenue through which efforts are brought to light, but how the charities can be supported and successes shared.