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WGC-Bridgestone Invitational media challenge nets $2,400 for Ronald McDonald Houses in Ohio

June 11, 2014

AKRON, Ohio – Local media personalities took to the runway at Akron-Canton Airport on June 10 for Bridgestone Invitational media day. Each participant came with a goal to hit the longest golf drive possible to raise money for the anchor charities of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational – the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland and the Ronald McDonald House® of Akron.

Local media personalities and executives each had three opportunities to hit golf shots as far as possible, while staying on the 150-feet wide runway. All shots were monitored with laser technology, and $1 was donated to the Ronald McDonald Houses of Cleveland and Akron for each yard of each participant’s longest shot.

The Ronald McDonald Houses of Cleveland and Akron support families whose children receive treatment at area medical centers by providing a home-like environment and essential resources and services. The organizations were presented with $2600 from the event, which will be split evenly between the houses.

"The Ronald McDonald House provides a place where the whole family can stay together near the hospital," said Craig Wilson, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland. "By keeping families together we can help their children heal faster and cope better.  With the continued support from the Bridgestone Invitational and Northern Ohio Golf Charities we can help families that are facing their toughest days." 

"The support of our community is what allows the Ronald McDonald House of Akron to keep families together when it matters most.  We would like to extend our gratitude to the Bridgestone Invitational, Northern Ohio Golf Charities, Akron-Canton Airport and the many local media personalities for participating in today's Media Day event,” said Anne Collins, executive director of the Ronald McDonald House of Akron. “Driving golf balls down the middle of a runway was a unique way to raise $2,600 to support our mission.  With a continual full house and $10 million expansion on the horizon we are grateful for the continued support and to serve as the Anchor Charity along with the Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland for the 2014 Bridgestone Invitational." 

Jason Nicholas from WEWS was the longest hitter from the media side, hitting a drive that measured at 430 yards. Bridgestone Invitational Executive Director edged Nicholas with a 432-yard shot on the final swing of the day. Other media participants included Bob Dyer (Akron Beacon Journal), Tracy McCool (Fox 8), Mark Schwab (WOIO) and Chris Tye (WKYC).

“A critical part of our mission at the Bridgestone Invitational is to support the organizations that help the most vulnerable in our community,” said tournament executive director Don Padgett. “The Ronald McDonald Houses of Cleveland and Akron are two of the most deserving non-profits in our community. Today’s event was a perfect opportunity to have a little fun, while raising money for families and children in need.”

The span of runway where the shots were taken measured 1,333 yards.

“What a great event. The Bridgestone Invitational does a great job coming up with cool ideas to promote the tournament and find ways to give back to the community,” Nicholas said. “Showing up, knowing that you have the most firm fairways we’ll ever see, it was exciting to come try as a golfer.”

Each year, tournament officials select a unique venue for the Bridgestone Invitational media day, in order to raise awareness for the event’s charitable mission. Past media days have taken place at Voinovich Park in Downtown Cleveland, Browns Stadium, Progressive Field and Canal Park.

As the tournament’s anchor charities, the Ronald McDonald Houses of Cleveland and Akron will each receive $50,000 from the 2014 tournament proceeds.

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