PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL - A brilliant Sunday victory surge at the 2012 Honda Classic by Rory McIlroy, the newly crowned winner of the PGA Championship and No. 1 player in the world, combined with the excitement of Tiger Mania hitting Palm Beach Gardens for the first time has resulted as expected in the largest charitable contribution in tournament history.
The Honda has awarded $1.85 million to South Florida children's charities, annihilating the $1,266,422 mark that was set in 2011. The tournament raised $1,002,961 in 2010 and the continued increases reflect the astronomical growth of Palm Beach County's largest sporting event since the tournament moved to PGA National Resort & Spa in 2007. Back then, the tournament raised $430,000 for local children's charities.
Better fields have always led to increased ticket sales, parking revenues, concessions and sponsorships on the PGA TOUR and the growth in Honda Classic charitable contributions has coincided with improved fields since the tournament moved to PGA National. But the presence of Woods in 2012, along with other stars such as McIlroy and 2012 British Open champ Ernie Els, obviously took those factors to a new level as The Honda Classic sported one of the top International fields of any non-major event so far this year.
"It is so gratifying to see improvement made year after year." Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. "To have Tiger Woods play this year, see the amazing bond that was created between him and our fans as he finished second and the impact that it now has had on our charitable contributions is a further acknowledgement of our growth and success.
"With one of golf's brightest young stars in Rory McIlroy as our defending champion, now coming off a phenomenal performance in the PGA Championship, we are even more excited about 2013 and the future of our event.This success in the form of money raised for charity is a testament to where the tournament has come, to American Honda's 32 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 our spectators in supporting the tournament."
Another significant factor in the charity growth has been the success of the Birdies for Children Program, which contributed $639,701 to the overall total. A total of 76 charities participated in the Birdies for Children Program, which The Honda Classic created in partnership with BIOMET 3i to allow charitable partners to use the PGA TOUR event as a fundraising tool for their own charities.
The 2012 Honda Classic benefited an additional 69 different charitable organizations, with the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation as the main beneficiary.
The continued success of The Honda Classic 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 increasing the significant impact that 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 1,200 volunteers who are making a difference by being able to assist all of the worthy charities which participate in our event."
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