Birdies for Charity: Record year for Colonial campaign

Colonial hole 10 Thursday

In golf, birdies are a great thing.

And when birdies are combined with a charity event, that’s even better. And this time it’s the best ever.

This year’s Birdies for Charity campaign has driven charity impact from the 2018 Fort Worth Invitational golf tournament past the $14 million mark for the first time.

Leading up to the 2018 PGA Tour event at Colonial Country Club, local non-profit groups secured pledges from friends and businesses for the tournament’s annual charitable campaign.

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Then, the professional players did their part by making 1,396 birdies during the tournament.

The combined effort resulted in just over $13.8 million being raised for local organizations from the tournament’s Birdies For Charity campaign alone. The dollars realized are a major part of the larger final figure of $14.8 million generated for charities throughout this year from various tournament community service activities and initiatives.

Recently, Colonial and 32 charities gathered to celebrate the Birdies program’s success.

“It is with great pride that we are able to support such important charity work in the Tarrant County area,” said Colonial Tournament Chairman Rob Hood. “This was a big reason why the Fort Worth community came together this year to keep our tournament going. This component of our event cannot be overstated.”

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Despite the withdrawal of Dean & DeLuca as headline sponsors just two years into a six-year agreement, tournament officials scrambled to pull together an assortment of local sponsors and renamed the event the Fort Worth Invitational.

That name was short-lived, however. In 2019, the tournament will called the Charles Schwab Challenge.

The 72-year-old championship has generated cash and services for more than 150 different organizations in the past two decades, surpassing $115 million. The breadth of donations focus on children and support a variety of programs, including:

*Camp scholarships for disabled, special needs or low-income children.

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*Residency programs/services for abused, neglected and at-risk children.

*Cultural programs/field trips for underserved students.

*College scholarships.

*Educational mentoring programs.

*Medical diagnostic and treatment services for disabled and low-income children.

*After-school programs.

*Support services for homeless families and more.

Military related charities have also become a growing part of the tournament’s activities, including Military Warriors Support Foundation and Birdies for the Brave. Colonial has helped donate 14 homes to injured veterans in recent years.

“Leveraging our annual event in the name of community service is a vital part of our mission,” said Colonial President Rob Doby. “We are thankful to the many individuals and businesses who support our efforts and help us generate dollars for these community charities.”

Since the program’s inception locally in 2005, the annual Birdies campaign has generated more than $86 million for participating charities.

Participating groups this year are:

ACH Child and Family Services

HOPE Farm, Inc.

All Saints Health Foundation

Imagination Fort Worth

Alliance for Children

Kids Who Care

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tarrant County

Lena Pope

Camp Fire USA First Texas Council

Lighthouse for the Blind

Cancer Care Services

Presbyterian Night Shelter

CASA of Tarrant County

Recovery Resource Council

Cassata High School

Ronald McDonald House

Child Study Center

SafeHaven of Tarrant County

Communities in Schools of Tarrant

County Susan G. Komen Greater Fort Worth

Community Storehouse

Texas Health Resources Foundation

Cornerstone Assistance Network

Texas Wesleyan University

The First Tee of Fort Worth

The WARM Place

Fort Worth Museum of Science & History

A Wish With Wings

Gill Children’s Services

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth

Happy Hill Farm Academy

Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth

Colonial’s Birdies Campaign Drives