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Sports Colonial completes another record year of charitable giving

Colonial completes another record year of charitable giving

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Robert Francis
Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial tallied another fundraising record in 2014, surpassing the $9 million mark in its charitable efforts. The tournament distributed its final donations to 63 local nonprofit groups Dec. 9 at the annual Charities Holiday Breakfast at Fort Worth’s Colonial Country Club. Throughout the year, more than $9 million has been generated and distributed to more than 100 organizations as a result of the golf tournament and its local initiatives.

This is the third consecutive year the event has raised more than $7 million. “This club’s got a great tradition of giving,” said Dr. Mark Woolf, chairman of Colonial Charities. Woolf said the organizations represent “selfless love and action” and the donations raised and distributed at Christmastime show good will toward those in need within the community. “We’re celebrating that today,” he said. The championship’s successful fundraising places it among the top events on the PGA Tour in 2014. According to tournament officials, the Birdies for Charity component of the tournament’s annual fundraising campaign brought in more than $7.9 million, one of the best such programs on the PGA Tour.

In that program, 31 local nonprofits solicited pledges from individuals and corporations for every birdie made during the 2014 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, in which golfers played for a purse of only $6.5 million. As a bonus, the pledge efforts were energized by a matching fund of $200,000 from Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Colonial Country Club and other supporting companies. “To be able to have such a large impact in our community is very gratifying” said 2014 Colonial Country Club President Chuck Scherer. “Many sponsors, donors volunteers and fans came together to help raise these charity dollars all year long.” The tournament has generated cash and services for more than 150 different organizations in the last two decades totaling more than $70 million. That amount includes more than $8 million generated for its primary beneficiary, Cook Children’s Medical Center. The tournament surpassed the million dollar mark in annual giving in 1998, and has exceeded that level every year since.

Betty Dillard bdillard@bizpress.net  

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