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Commissioner Tim Finchem announced that despite the nation’s economic downturn, the PGA Tour generated another record amount for charity in 2008, with a total of $124 million earmarked for local outlets throughout the country. On the same day another $789 billion stimulus plan was hatched to save the ailing American economy, the tournaments on the PGA Tour, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour collectively have donated a total of nearly $1.38 billion.
"Even as the economic conditions worsened, our tournaments did a terrific job of generating revenue to achieve another record year for charitable giving," Finchem said. "We are extremely proud of the job each of these tournaments has done under particularly trying economic circumstances. As always, the most important result of this achievement is the number of lives that are impacted by these charitable contributions within each tournament community," Finchem added.
The FBR Open raised $8.6 million,
while the 3M Championship led the
Champions Tour with $1.3 million.
The Albertson’s Boise Open led the
Nationwide Tour with over $1 million
Finchem acknowledged that it will be particularly challenging to match the charity levels achieved in 2008 until there is a clear turnaround in the economy. While the overall charity total likely will decline this year, Finchem noted the continued efforts of the more than 100 tournaments on all three Tours still will result in significant support of worthy causes throughout the country.
Finchem further said the PGA Tour is recommitting itself to charity “like never before. Not only is charity something we care deeply about, it also is an important reason our sponsors choose to associate with us,” he said. “Unlike any other sport, charitable giving is very much a part of our foundation and fabric.”
To broaden awareness and appreciation, Finchem said a new multi-year charitable platform will be announced in the coming weeks. He also has asked players to become more aware of what individual tournaments are doing for their local charities and to look for opportunities to emphasize and support these efforts.
"We believe that it is important for all of us to acknowledge in every way we can the positive impact of our tournaments' charitable initiatives, which are supported by their outstanding sponsors and volunteers," Finchem said. "The work they do truly is remarkable and too often is under appreciated on a broad, national scale. We plan to refocus our efforts to tell the stories of how they are changing people’s lives, as well as position ourselves for future growth when the economy improves."