CALGARY — Canadians made a major mark on the fifth anniversary of Calgary’s Shaw Charity Classic by chipping in to raise a record $8,391,413 for 159 youth-based charities across Alberta.
The fifth straight record-setting donation for any event on the PGA TOUR Champions now brings the award-winning tournament’s fundraising totals to more than $22.1 million.
“We began our five-year celebrations by encouraging the public to find a small way to make their mark on this powerful event in Alberta that is having a lasting impact on communities throughout the province. This donation proves Albertans have made their mark in a major way,” said Clay Riddell, Tournament Chairman, Shaw Charity Classic. “More than 2,400 generous donors from around the world played a key role in helping us achieve our goals through their unbelievably generous donations that will help positively impact the lives of more than 480,000 children.”
The tournament’s title sponsor, Shaw Communications, teed off the tournament’s 2017 fundraising efforts with a total $1 million contribution split between the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation and the RESOLVE campaign, two of the Shaw Charity Classic’s charitable partners.
“Five years ago, we wanted to help bring to our city a world class event that would benefit charities, children, and families across Alberta,” said Brad Shaw, CEO, Shaw Communications. “Since then, the Shaw Charity Classic has become a cornerstone of our community, supporting hundreds of charitable organizations that are making meaningful impacts to families and kids across the province. We are sincerely grateful to the Patron Group, PGA TOUR Champions, the hundreds of volunteers, and most importantly, the thousands of fans who have made this event one of the biggest in Calgary.”
Shaw Communications launched two new initiatives this year to further the charitable giving. Birdies for Charity saw $500 donated for each birdie made on the 18th hole during the tournament. There were 83 birdies made over the three-round event, which raised $41,500. However, the company bumped it up to a $50,000 donation at the trophy ceremony. Additionally, Shaw donated $100,000 for Make Your Mark Day held on August 6, which saw thousands of local golfers attempt to make a birdie on a designated hole at one of 20 participating golf courses across the city.
Building on the leadership of its title partner, the tournament’s Birdies for Kids program once again played a critical role in helping to smash the tournament’s previous annual fundraising totals.
Thanks to the support of Birdies for Kids presenting partner, AltaLink, individuals and corporations have the opportunity to make a one-time 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. This year, Birdies for Kids expanded its reach to include more donors who helped provide a positive impact on more charities.
“We’re incredibly proud of the impact the Birdies for Kids program is making on charities across Alberta dedicated to bettering the lives of children,” said Scott Thon, President and CEO of AltaLink. “This year marks another record-breaking year for the tournament overall and the Birdies for Kids program, and it’s possible only because of the generosity and can-do spirit of the people of this province.”
The records didn’t stop with the financial side of the tournament in 2017. A star-studded field of PGA TOUR Champions players, including Sir Nick Faldo, Jose Maria Olazabal, Colin Montgomerie, Fred Couples, Billy Andrade and 2017 champion Scott McCarron, played in front of another record number of spectators, with more than 45,000 people lining the fairways of Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club throughout the week.
Shaw Communications originally launched the five-year anniversary celebrations last spring by reinforcing its commitment to bringing world-class golf to Calgary in an effort to raise big money for charities with a commitment to extend its title sponsorship of the event for three more years through to 2020. Officials are already focused on reaching new goals in 2018. Many of the greatest names in golf will once again tee it up at Canyon Meadows Golf and Country Club from August 27 to September 2, 2018. Corporate packages for the Shaw Charity Classic are available online at www.shawcharityclassic.com.