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Phil Mickelson, Stacy Lewis support literacy through KPMG's 'Blue for Books' program

September 1, 2016

By Doug Milne, PGA TOUR Staff

Few things in life provide a sense of accomplishment like that which comes from the completion of reading a book.

For millions of under-privileged kids without access to books, however, that opportunity can be a rare, fleeting commodity at best. Many do not have the chance to let their imaginations run wild with the turning of pages. They have never experienced the thrill of nearing the end of a story.

But, since 2012, KPMG, in association with the PGA TOUR’s Phil Mickelson and Stacy Lewis of the LPGA, new stories are being written every day. And each comes with a happy ending. 

For the past four year, KPMG’s “Family for Literacy” have supported “Blue for Books,” a program which donates three books for every blue KPMG hat sold. To date, nearly 175,000 books have found their way into the hands of children in need. These books are added to more than two million provided through the “Family for Literacy” program. In many cases, these are the first books children ever own.

The “Blue for Books” campaign was born out of a common interest. Mickelson and KPMG both shared the passion and desire to give less-fortunate kids every fighting chance to get a strong start in life. Books, they agreed, was a powerful tool in doing just that. 

“The toughest roadblock to children’s literacy in low-income communities is simply access to books,” said John Veihmeyer, Global Chairman & CEO, KPMG. “So, we’ve teamed with Phil Mickelson and LPGA star Stacy Lewis to bring awareness to the problem and also to get more books into the hands of those children who really need them.”

“Like KPMG, Amy and I are committed to education,” said World Golf Hall of Fame Member Phil Mickelson. “We really feel that education is the way to a better life and the foundation for success. The ‘Blue for Books’ program is a great way to share our shared commitment and make a positive impact on literacy efforts in our country.”

In 2013, KPMG took “Blue for Books” to entirely new heights with the “Inspiring Win” program. Every time Mickelson or Lewis wins a tournament, KPMG’s “Family for Literacy” donates 5,000 new books and enhances a library in the community from where the win occurred.

Since this extension of the program began, Mickelson and Lewis have combined for nine titles, resulting in as many library enhancements.

One school that benefitted from this was Solono Elementary in Phoenix, Az., following Mickelson’s 2013 win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

“Ninety percent of the students at Solono are low income,” said Patricia Tate, Superintendent Osborn School District. “They hear, on average, 30 million fewer words before the age of four than children of the same age in higher-income families. Anything we can do to improve their chances for success in school is powerful for them.”

“As a professional, it’s all about giving back and creating an impact,” said Lewis. “It’s just a great thing to be a part of.”

“KPMG has done a lot for education and I love the association of helping libraries in other communities when I win,” added Mickelson.

Whether it’s the sale of a hat, the handing off of a trophy or the passing along of a book, it’s all a big win. And that makes for the happiest of all endings.

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