THE PLAYERS Championship Giving Back Month Culminates with Red Coat Ride Out
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL. – THE PLAYERS Championship today completed a busy month of activities highlighting its support of more than 200 local charitable organizations. THE PLAYERS generated a record $5.9 million for area charities in 2011, and today’s Red Coat Ride Out to Gilbert Middle School and Sanctuary on 8th Street highlights the support THE PLAYERS provides to educational and youth-related causes. The Red Coats represent the tournament volunteer leadership of THE PLAYERS; the charitable impact of the event would not be possible without them and the more than 2,000 volunteers who help stage THE PLAYERS each and every year.
“In April, THE PLAYERS announced a goal to raise $50 million for youth-related charities over the next 10 years, and we are dedicated to making that commitment a reality,” said Curtis Hazel, THE PLAYERS 2012 volunteer chairman. “We are focused on improving educational opportunities for the region’s youth because it potentially changes lives and can help develop kids into productive adults. The impact of education can have a positive ripple effect on families and youth across the community for decades to come.”
THE PLAYERS charitable contributions to education support programs such as Teach for America and Take Stock in Children across the First Coast. During a presentation at Gilbert Middle School that included Duval County School Board Chairman, W.C. Gentry, Duval County Public Schools Superintendent Ed Pratt-Dannals, principal, teachers and students, The Red Coats donated a “Complete Library” set to the middle school in honor of Read it Forward Jax, an initiative of Duval County Public Schools that partners city, business, faith-based and nonprofit leaders throughout the community to share in helping teach Jacksonville’s children about the importance of reading.
The Red Coats recognized Teach For America corps members at Gilbert Middle School, further underlining THE PLAYERS $400,000 grant to Teach For America Jacksonville, which helps 100 corps members in 24 of the highest needs schools across Duval County impact approximately 8,000 students each year. Today’s presentation at Gilbert Middle School also highlighted a new $125,000 grant from THE PLAYERS to Take Stock in Children, Jacksonville. For each of the five years of THE PLAYERS commitment, Take Stock in Children will provide 10 college scholarships per year.
“THE PLAYERS Championship is making a difference in the lives of kids in many meaningful ways as demonstrated by its support of these three important education initiatives,” said Evan P. Daniels, principal at Gilbert Middle School. “THE PLAYERS commitment is a great example to the entire community of what we can accomplish when we all work together.”
As the final stop on the Ride Out, the Red Coats visited Sanctuary on 8th Street for an ice cream social and to spend time with children in the after-school program. The Red Coats also presented a check for $5,000 to assist the Sanctuary in providing an after-school tutor for students who are below grade level. Sanctuary on 8th Street is an after-school program and summer camp offering a wide variety of enriching and creative programs and activities.
The Sanctuary also offers a small Home School for elementary students, where each receives scholastic support and enrichment activities.
“Our programs help support the physical, spiritual, social and educational needs of youth and families,” said Vicky Watkins, executive director of Sanctuary on 8th Street. “THE PLAYERS’ funding is important to our success, and we appreciate all the tournament does for our program and others throughout the community.”
During today’s Ride Out, the Red Coats also visited River Garden, a nonprofit community agency with a history of excellence in elder care programs and services. At River Garden, the Red Coats met with staff and residents and had the opportunity to see the van that was purchased through their grant. River Garden Executive Director Martin Goetz expressed his appreciation for the grant and for their continued support, which is helping the agency accomplish its mission of improving the lives of seniors.
Giving Back Month launched on Oct. 9 during a pre-game ceremony at mid-field at the Jacksonville Jaguars game featuring Mayor Alvin Brown, PGA TOUR golfer Fred Funk, Executive Director Matt Rapp of THE PLAYERS Championship and the Red Coats. The month of giving continued on Oct. 17 when the Red Coats joined PGA TOUR golfer Jim Furyk and executives of Wolfson Children’s Hospital to announce a $1 million grant to establish THE PLAYERS Center for Child Health. The center will provide a range of important prevention and health services for children.
THE PLAYERS will take place May 7-13, 2012. More information about THE PLAYERS is available at www.PGATOUR.COM/theplayers.
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