CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 20, 2016) - Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast have chipped in to help the Shaw Charity Classic raise $5,217,713 for 124 youth-based charities across Alberta.
It is the fourth straight year Calgary's marquee golf event has set a record for charitable giving on the PGA TOUR Champions, shattering its previous mark of nearly $4 million one year ago. In the tournament's short four-year history, it has now raised a total of more than $13.8 million for children's charities in the province.
"The Shaw Charity Classic has never lost focus of its core mission: to bring elite golf to Calgary for families to enjoy while raising significant money for youth in Alberta who need our support," said Clay Riddell, Tournament Chairman.
"This donation reflects the ongoing commitment of Albertans to giving back to their community despite the difficult economy we are all facing in the province. But the gifting for this tournament now extends right across the country, thanks to new initiatives that have made it possible for more Canadians to become involved in the Shaw Charity Classic."
Birdies for Kids - a program initiated in 2015 - sparked tremendous growth in the Shaw Charity Classic's fundraising efforts. Thanks to the support of its presenting partner, AltaLink, Birdies for Kids expanded its number of charitable beneficiaries in Alberta in its second year, and received donations from more than 1,600 people in all corners of the country.
"The financial support from the Shaw Charity Classic not only gives kids like myself the opportunity to go to summer camp, but it provides us with experiences that are changing our lives in a positive way," said Blake McDougall, who spoke on behalf of Camp Cadicasu, one of the tournament's beneficiaries, at the official charity announcement on Thursday. "There is nothing more powerful than providing kids with the simple opportunity to establish friendships, sing songs, and sit around a campfire. Thanks to the Shaw Charity Classic's support, hundreds of more kids will gain inspiration, be encouraged to dream big, and build confidence in themselves at Camp Cadicasu."
Birdies for Kids gives individuals and corporations the opportunity to make a one-time or per-birdie donation, directed to the children's charity of their choice. Those donations were further leveraged through a tiered matching program that saw a percentage of the first $250,000 donated to each charity.
A star studded field of PGA TOUR Champions players, including Tom Watson, Bernhard Langer, Colin Montgomerie, John Daly and 2016 champion Carlos Franco, combined to fire a total of 890 birdies during the three competitive rounds this year.
Birdies for Kids aside, the tournament's charitable spirit is rooted with its title partner - Shaw Communications Inc. - who announced in June a commitment of $1 million to support the corporation's two official charitable partners of the Shaw Charity Classic - The Alex and Kids Help Phone. This donation saw The Alex receive $700,000 to fund its youth-based programs and support construction and operation of its new Community Food Centre in Calgary. Kids Help Phone received $300,000 to support BroTalk, a dedicated online support zone and referral service for young men ages 14 to 18.
"When we started the Shaw Charity Classic in 2013, we imagined creating a platform to give back to the community while providing a unique experience for Calgarians. Our imagination never got this big," said Brad Shaw, CEO, Shaw Communications. "This year's tournament was an exceptional family-friendly event that raised a record-shattering charitable donation, showcasing the incredible generosity of Calgarians."
Officials are already focused on planning the fifth anniversary of the Shaw Charity Classic. Many of the greatest names in golf will once again tee it up at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, August 30 - September 3, 2017. Corporate packages for the Shaw Charity Classic are available online at www.shawcharityclassic.com.
About the Shaw Charity Classic
The Shaw Charity Classic will host some of the greatest names in the game of golf in Calgary at the Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club, August 30 - September 3, 2017. The field, which will consist of 78 stars on the PGA TOUR Champions, will compete for US $2.35 million in a three-round, 54-hole stroke-play tournament. The winner will receive US $352,500 and 352 Charles Schwab Cup Points. The only annual PGA TOUR Champions stop in Canada will showcase Calgary to the world through its broadcast on the Golf Channel. Led by a philanthropic Patron Group including Tournament Chairman - Clay Riddell, Vice Chairman - Allan Markin, Keith MacPhail, Jim Riddell, Guy Turcotte, Gary Peddle and PGA Tour Professional - Stephen Ames, along with title sponsor, Shaw Communications Inc, the Shaw Charity Classic won the prestigious President's Award as the top event on the PGA TOUR Champions in 2015 and 2014. The Tournament has raised more than $13.8 million in its first four years, with a PGA TOUR Champions record setting donation of $5,217,713 raised in 2016 that was distributed amongst 124 youth-based charities in Alberta. For more information on the event, please visit www.shawcharityclassic.com. Follow the Shaw Charity Classic at www.facebook.com/shawcharityclassic and on Twitter @shawclassic. The Shaw Charity Classic is managed by Bruno Event Team and Shaw Communications Inc.