By NewsLine Staff
PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem has announced that the 2016 The Players tournament generated $8.5 million for local charities, surpassing last year’s record total of $8.1 million. The money generated by The Players each year benefits more than 300 charities throughout Northeast Florida, totaling more than $84 million in charitable giving since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977. The announcement was made during The Players Charity Celebration hosted by Commissioner Finchem on the back lawn of the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, with the $8.5 million grand total unveiled via video by PGA TOUR player Jim Furyk and his family. The celebration is part of a series of activities during The Players 2016 Giving Back Month designed to highlight the work of the many charitable organizations in Northeast Florida that benefit from the tournament
“While giving back is at the heart of every PGA TOUR event, it’s even more special to see the impact The Players can make on the community our organization calls home,” said Finchem. “So many of our neighbors in need will benefit from this record year, and it’s thanks in no small part to the way the community rallies around The Players. Generating $8.5 million wouldn’t be possible without the hard work from our team and volunteers, the support of Morgan Stanley, PwC and Optum, and the entire Northeast Florida community. Their dedication – not to mention the positive impact that results – is what we celebrate with this announcement.”
Much of the $8.5 million generated from The Players 2016 benefits local children’s charities, in line with the event’s commitment to generate $50 million for youth-related charities over 10 years. Since that commitment was made in April 2011, more than $38 million has been raised toward that goal. The event is dedicated to making a significant financial impact on local non-profits that promote youth education, health and wellness, and character development.
“That $8.5 million is why our volunteers continue to work tirelessly each year at the tournament and why we look forward to coming back,” said Michele McManamon, 2016 tournament chairman. “I am proud to have been the 2016 tournament chairman and I can’t wait to see the tournament, and the dollars generated for charity, continue to grow.”
On Nov. 7, in recognition of Veterans Day week, The Players volunteer leadership – the Red Coats – accompanied by a PGA TOUR player, will pay a special visit to the Five Star Veterans Center, where they will host lunch for the veterans at the center and staff. Five Star Veteran’s Center received a $5,000 grant from The Players Red Coats this year. Five Star Veterans Center offers safe, and secure, housing to displaced veterans, in an attempt to alleviate veteran homelessness.
On Nov. 14, the Red Coats. accompanied by a special guest, will visit Pine Castle, which received a $5,000 grant from The Players Red Coats, and tour the facility. Pine Castle is a leader in serving adults with intellectual and other disabilities and providing support to their families across Northeast Florida.
On Nov. 21, Furyk will join Duval County school superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti and The Players staff for a visit to North Shore Elementary School to learn about North Shore’s continued rise in academics and the power that City Year and its Core Members have on the school. The Players is sponsor for North Shore’s City Year program, which works to bridge the gap in high-poverty communities between the support that students actually need, and what their schools are designed and resourced to provide.
Finally, the Red Coat Ride Out will conclude on Nov. 29 at Topgolf when the Red Coats host an outing for children from The Boselli Foundation afterschool program at the new facility in Jacksonville. PGA TOUR players and the Red Coats will provide instruction and surprise each child with a gift. The Boselli Foundation is a faith-based, non-profit organization striving to help children living in at-risk neighborhoods on the Northside of Jacksonville.