While last year THE PLAYERS Championship raised a then-record total of $8.5 million for more than 300 Northeast Florida charities, it was announced on Tuesday, Oct. 17, that the 2017 tournament had surpassed that amount for a total of $8.7 million.
The announcement was made at THE PLAYERS Charity Celebration, which was held at the famed 17th hole of THE PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass. Part of the organization’s annual Giving Back month, the celebration honored the philanthropic work of those charities that benefit from the tournament. After guests had the opportunity to enjoy food and drinks, the record-breaking amount was announced and displayed on a scoreboard for all to see.
“The impact of THE PLAYERS on the Northeast Florida community is why nearly 2,000 volunteers put in tireless hours each year,” said Kevin English, 2017 tournament chairman. “It was my privilege to serve as the 2017 tournament chairman and I am ecstatic to see that we generated a record $8.7 million for charity through this incredible tournament.”
The day following the announcement, past tournament chairmen – also known as “Red Coats” – dispersed throughout the Northeast Florida community to surprise 21 local charities with funds generated by this year’s tournament. One recipient was Ponte Vedra High School, which was presented with a check for $37,750.
“I’m just thrilled,” said Ponte Vedra High School Principal Fred Oberkehr upon receiving the news. “There is so much community support around here, and it’s not just from the community, it is the community. The kids here go above and beyond the call of duty in every shape, form and fashion, so I think this is not only a testament to what THE PLAYERS does, but it’s also a testament to Ponte Vedra Beach, our community and our high school students.”
Including this year’s record amount, THE PLAYERS has raised more than $92 million for charities since the event was moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977. Other organizations to benefit from the 2017 tournament included Angelwood, Dreams Come True, the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach and more.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to be able to hand out these checks,” said 2016 Tournament Chairman Michele McManamon, who presented the check to Ponte Vedra High. “Ponte Vedra High School and the other charities are very special to our community, and overall, being a part of this organization is a blessing.”