Since 2005, the PGA Tour has doubled its charitable donations, a total that’s reached $2 billion in 2014.
The PGA Tour Canada and the Staal Foundation Open, the tour’s Thunder Bay stop, hope to carry on that legacy locally.
On Wednesday tournament officials named three beneficiaries for this year’s event, scheduled to take place at Whitewater Golf Course starting July 14.
The United Way of Thunder Bay and the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation will split the proceeds from ticket sales in 2014, while the St. Joseph’s Foundation will net the parking revenue.
Tracy Buckler, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Care Group, says the money is always needed in the health-care business.
“When the foundation was chosen as one of the charities for the Staal Foundation Open, we were just thrilled. We’re so delighted to be working in this partnership. There are two other great charities and we’re really happy to be part of it,” Buckler said.
“It’s a great event. It’s exciting for the City of Thunder Bay and this community.”
The feeling is mutual at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Foundation.
The organization, which hosts its own celebrity golf tournament each summer, said this involvement takes the fundraising possibilities even further.
“This is at the next level or even at the next level beyond that,” Craig said. “We’re so proud to be working alongside and proud to be bringing this into the city and growing our city. The funds that are being raised for the Health Sciences Foundation are going to our Exceptional Cancer Care campaign, and we know that touches so many people’s lives.”
Craig said he has no idea how much money their involvement will raise.
“We’re not sure what the scale is, but I think the PGA and the CPGA does things in a big way,” he said.
United Way campaign chairman Michael Nitz said his organization funds 29 different agencies and programs and every little bit helps them maintain that level of support.
Scott Smith, the executive director of the Staal Foundation Open, said bringing the three charities on board is a great way to involve them in an event from the start.
“They bring a big membership to help out the event,” Smith said. “But I think we’re going to be here for at least three years, so we can support a lot of charities. The Staal Foundation is a charity we’ll support, which will also support charities and local agencies.”
With just 88 days to go before the pro-am celebrity tournament kicks off the week of action, organizers launched the official tournament website, www.staalopen.ca.
Event tickets are now on sale through the website.
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