There appears to be no end in sight to the brilliant growth The Honda Classic continues to enjoy in Palm Beach County.
The Honda has awarded a record $2.55 million in charitable contributions in 2014, exceeding the previous record of $2.13 million which was given to a wide roster of local causes last year.
It is the eighth straight year the event has increased its charitable distribution to South Florida Children's Charities. When the tournament moved to PGA National Resort & Spa in 2007, it awarded $430,000. By 2010, it had eclipsed the $1 million mark ($1,018,961) and it broke through the $2 million barrier in 2013.
The continued rise in giving reflects the steady growth of Palm Beach County’s largest sporting event that has been made possible by player, sponsor and spectator support. Players such as Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell and recent U.S. Open champ Martin Kaymer have made The Honda part of their regular schedules. The star power has led to increased ticket sales, parking revenues, concessions and sponsorships.
"We have had a vision and I can't express how rewarding it is to continue to see this event make such a strong impact on the local area," Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. "Through the universal support that our event is receiving, we are doing everything that we can do to change the lives of the children of our community."
The 2014 Honda Classic is awarding contributions to 136 different charitable organizations, with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation once again as the primary beneficiary.
The growth is a testament to American Honda’s 33 years as the longest-standing title sponsor on the PGA TOUR as well as partnerships with PGA National Resort & Spa, PGA of America, Palm Beach County, the City of Palm Beach Gardens and the PGA TOUR along with the support from major local partners such as Tire Kingdom, United Technologies and FPL.
Paul Bremer, President of Children’s Healthcare Charity, Inc., is retiring after eight years as head of the Foundation which oversees The Honda Classic. The Honda has raised more than $10.5 million during Bremer's tenure.
“When we started out eight years ago we envisioned a Foundation that would grow to make a major difference in our community," Bremer said. "It has been an honor to serve as President during this time and watch the entire staff and more than 1,600 volunteers work every year to make that happen. I look forward to watching The Honda continue to flourish in my retirement and support the growing number of worthy charities in the Palm Beach County area."
The 2015 Honda Classic will be played February 23-March 1, 2015 with Russell Henley defending his title.
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