PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL – The Honda Classic elevated its game to a new plateau in 2013, raising yet another record contribution for South Florida children's charities.
The Honda has awarded $2.13 million to a wide roster of local causes, eclipsing the $1.85 million total that was a record in 2012. It was the seventh straight year that The Honda has increased its charity distribution.
The continued rise in giving reflects the steady growth of Palm Beach County's largest sporting event. When the tournament moved to PGA National Resort & Spa in 2007, it awarded $430,000 to local charities. By 2010, it had eclipsed the $1 million mark ($1,018,961) and hit $1,266,422 in 2011.
Then Tiger Woods added the tournament to his schedule, joining other elite players such as 2012 champ Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and Ernie Els. This surge of star power into the field led to increased ticket sales, parking revenues, concessions and sponsorships that now has allowed The Honda to reach a new level of giving back to the local community.
"We continue to raise the bar," Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. "At the end of the day, after all of the skyboxes and hospitality areas are taken down, the best players in the world continue on their annual schedules and all of the fans go home, the most important element of the Honda Classic remains what we can do to change the lives of the children of our community.
"It is so gratifying to see improvement made year after year. It is a further acknowledgement of our growth and success which is a testament to American Honda's 33 years as the longest-standing sponsor on the PGA TOUR, and a tribute to all of our partners -- PGA National for having a fantastic facility, PGA of America, Palm Beach County, the City of Palm Beach Gardens, our sponsors and the great community and spectators who keep supporting the tournament."
Kennerly recently sold his IGP Sports & Entertainment Group to global sports, fashion and media company IMG Worldwide, which could help The Honda Classic continue its growth even further by strengthening its resources both in the American market and globally. IMG now has a local golf office in Palm Beach County, providing a strong presence in this important golf market, and Kennerly is heading up IMG Golf's North American Events Division.
The 2013 Honda Classic benefited 125 different charitable organizations, with the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation once again as the main beneficiary.
The continued success of The Honda is a byproduct of the tournament's partnership with American Honda, the City of Palm Beach Gardens, Palm Beach County, PGA of America and the PGA TOUR as well as the support from founding sponsors Tire Kingdom and Yokohama Tire and the local community.
"We are thrilled that our foundation is able to continue and expand the difference we make in our community," said Paul Bremer, President of Children's Healthcare Charity, Inc. "I commend the job done by the entire staff and the more than 1,500 volunteers who are making a difference by being able to assist all of the worthy charities which participate in our event."
The 2014 Honda Classic will be played February 24-March 2, 2014 with Michael Thompson defending his title.
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