Local charities win at Jamie Farr tourneyWritten by Michael Stainbrook | | email@example.com
Golfers benefit from keeping the ball on the fairway, but local children’s charities will reap the fringe benefits of the Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic.
Since the tournament’s inception in 1984, the Jamie Farr has raised $6.5 million for 115 charitable organizations throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.
The mission never stops, even with an economy that’s had its share of bogeys. The Jamie Farr raised $300,000 for local charities in 2009.
“It was a great year considering the economy,” said Judd Silverman, tournament director. “We were very pleased.”
Charitable funds comprise all residual income after the tournament’s expenses are covered. In effect, any purchase related to the Jamie Farr benefits the agencies the tournament supports.
The Jamie Farr hosts a number of special events to benefit its charities. The week includes four pro-ams, a putting pro-am and two additional celebrity-pro events. The gala at the SeaGate Convention Centre on June 29 includes a silent auction and benefits charities as well.
Another way patrons have supported local organizations is the Charity Ticket Program. Fans who bought weekly grounds or clubhouse tickets on or before June 18 could complete an online form designating the charity of their choice. That organization would then receive an amount equal to the price of the ticket.
The tournament raised about $15,000 for 90 organizations through the ticket program this year. The Jamie Farr also set aside $10,000 for the victims of the tornadoes that ripped through the region earlier in June. The Lake Kids Relief Fund and the Greater Toledo Area Chapter of the American Red Cross will each receive $5,000, Silverman said.
In addition to the two disaster relief funds, 11 charities will benefit from this year’s tournament. Most receive funding from the Jamie Farr every few years due to the large number of agencies seeking assistance. The only permanent beneficiary is Ronald McDonald House Charities of Northwest Ohio.
“We’ve been involved since the inception of the tournament,” said Chad Bringman, executive director of the local chapter.“It’s a special relationship between the two of us.”
Ronald McDonald House Charities provides housing for families of children receiving medical care. Because guests are not charged for their stay, donations such as those from the Jamie Farr go toward offsetting general operating costs. The tournament has donated more than $1 million to the charity during the past 25 years. Last year, it gave $50,000.
In response, the charity sends as many volunteers as possible to help out come tournament time.
“We do anything that we can to support the tournament,” Bringman said.
Camp Courageous, located in Whitehouse, has been associated with the Jamie Farr for more than a decade. The camp provides outdoor activities for children with developmental disabilities. Donations from the tournament offset the cost of attending the camp.
“We do charge for our services, but we don’t charge the true cost of what it costs a camper to come to camp,” said Executive Director Steve Kiessling.
The tournament last sponsored Camp Courageous in 2006.
Silverman said all donations to charity are monetary.
Individuals can help raise money by purchasing tickets and attending the tournament or by volunteering. Daily tickets are available at the gate. To volunteer, call (419) 531-3277.