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PGA TOUR Wives bring color, cheer to Habitat build during Valspar Championship

March 13, 2014

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

CLEARWATER, Fla. - At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, it was drab and wet across in Tampa Bay. A dark, flat sky stretched as far as the eye could see, seemingly impenetrable. It wasn’t exactly paint-the-town weather.

Just before 10:00 a.m., however, the unpredicted trumped the expected. Even if only temporarily, brushes of blue streaks cut across the sky. Turns out, it became a great morning to paint the town. Or, at the very least, a house.

Under the new title sponsorship of the Valspar Corporation, the “Official Paint Supplier” of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour, the Valspar Championship has become known as the “most colorful event on the PGA TOUR.”

Perhaps. But, the sixth-largest paint and coatings supplier on the planet got busy proving its mettle before the first tee even went into the ground.

In a collaborative effort between the Valspar Corporation, the PGA TOUR Wives Association and the Habitat for Humanity, a lot of color was brought into the life of one Clearwater family.

Built by Habitat for Humanity, the home was a blessing from above. It was perfect. Well, almost. It needed color. Literally. The place was bland as the earlier morning’s gray sky. Enter Valspar, Habitat for Humanity’s national paint sponsor. In tow Wednesday were Valspar employees, individuals from the Pinellas County Habitat for Humanity, Innisbrook Resort owner Sheila Johnson and members of the PGA TOUR Wives Association. In addition, PGA TOUR veterans Geoff Ogilvy, Bo Van Pelt and Robert Garrigus paid a visit to the new home as a show of support.

“When we were evaluating the opportunity to sponsor the PGA TOUR event here in Florida, we looked at the PGA TOUR’s goals and our goals. They aligned perfectly,” said Valspar Corporation CEO Gary Hendrickson. “The TOUR wants to give back to the communities where they have their tournaments. Valspar wants to give back where we operate. That was really important for us. Today epitomizes the nature of that relationship. We have PGA TOUR wives, players and Valspar employees all here to try and live up to that commitment to providing folks with clean, affordable housing. “

“You really see the heart of Valspar by their involvement with organizations like Habitat for Humanity,” said PGA TOUR member Bo Van Pelt. ”I imagine they are happy with their association with the PGA TOUR. I’ve heard nothing but great things from the TOUR about having Valspar on board. I think this is going to become a wonderful and long-standing relationship.”

The result of synchronized, good intentions is more often than not good outcomes. Wednesday’s combined efforts between the Valspar Corporation, PGA TOUR and Habitat for Humanity are the lines to the drawing. The color between the lines will be evident by the outcomes both on and off the course.

“I think this is wonderful,” said Innisbrook Resort owner Sheila Johnson. “It’s so important to pay it forward…and play it forward, if you will. We have a charity part of us as organizations and individuals that make our work so important. To have all these people - the wives, golfers and staff come out today is just wonderful. We’re all in this together. We are all here to solve all the world’s problems as one.”

“It means a lot, and I cannot say enough about Valspar coming in and picking up this tournament, because it means so much for the charities,” said PGA TOUR member Robert Garrigus. “Just look around us here today. The charities are really who benefit from these tournaments.”

“I cannot imagine they want me painting today, because they have a good thing going,” laughed seven-time PGA TOUR winner Geoff Ogilvy. “But, I am really happy to be here. Valspar is a wonderful partner for Habitat for Humanity international and everything that has come together here today is something I’m really glad to be a part of.”

Everything that came together Wednesday is a prospect worthy of gladness. It’s the first stroke of color on a blank canvas. On Sunday, the first Valspar champion will be crowned. In April, a family will enter for the first time the doors to a place called home. Charities as far as the Tampa Bay eye can see will reap the benefits of the “most colorful tournament on the PGA TOUR.”

Note: During the months of March and April, the PGA TOUR Wives have pledged 50% of sales from their book, Beyond the Fairways and Greens, to the Tampa Bay Habitat for Humanity.  To purchase a copy, please visit butlerbooks.com.

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