Video Game Maker MVP Network Offers Charities Free Virtual Golf Fundraiser Game

Golden Fairway

The MVP Network, developer of interactive sports video games, has released Golden Fairway Golf Fundraiser, a free program that allows charities to host virtual golf tournaments as fundraisers.

MVP provides the free software license to nonprofits, and funds are raised by participants who make secure online contributions to play an 18-hole round of golf. In fact, the Golden Fairway software allows tournament participants to play up to 25 rounds to get their best score.

As with all MVP games, Golden Fairway Golf Fundraiser runs on standard PCs and does not require specialized interfaces or proprietary hardware (MVP Network).

Image credit: MVP Network

Phoenix’ FBR Open Raises Record Charity Money for PGA Tour Events

FBR Open

In Arizona, John Davis reported that the PGA Tour FBR Open “raised a tour record $8.65 million for charity this year, about $800,000 more than the 2007 event raised.”

Since Friedman, Billings, Ramsay Group “took over as title sponsor in 2003, the event has raised more than $33.6 million for charity.” In its history, $61.7 million “has been raised for charity” (John Davis, Arizona Republic, 11/21). Read the entire article from the Arizona Republic

PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship Rakes in Nearly $770,000 for Charity

Travelers Championship

In Hartford, Bruce Berlet writes that 2008 PGA Tour’s Travelers Championship “raised $769,279.05.” The event benefited the Greater Hartford Jaycees and Hole In The Wall Gang, “plus more than 120 charitiable organizations that raised funds through” the Birdies for Charity program.

Tournament Director Nathan Grube: “This is the culmination of all the hours and work that everyone puts in to make the Travelers such a successful event for charity. These are real dollars for real people to help solve real problems that make the tournament such an asset for the community.”

This year’s financial take “ran the tournament’s charitable contributions since 1952 to more than $26 million” (Hartford Courant, 11/18).

Read the entire article from Hartford Courant

Wayne’s World: Gretzky Foundation Tees Up

The Wayne Gretzky Foundation will host a new Nationwide Tour event north of Toronto called the Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic beginning next June, according to Jon Show of the SportsBusiness Daily. Ford Motor Company of Canada will be the title sponsor and Samsung Electronics Canada is the presenting sponsor under three-year deals. The purse is $800,099 in a nod to Gretzky’s former No. 99 uniform. A source said that the event will be televised on Golf Channel (SportsBusiness Daily, 11/19).

For more information on the Wayne Gretzky Foundation, please visit www.waynegretzky.com.

PGA Tour’s Colonial Stop is Most Successful Birdies for Charity Effort This Year

Birdies for Charity

During this year’s Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, $5.3 million was raised for local charities (from the Birdies For Charity campaign. Preceding the Fort Worth event, local non-profit groups worked hard to secure Birdies For Charity pledges, then the pros did their part by making 1,241 birdies during the championship.

The Birdies For Charity program is a component of the PGA TOUR’s national charity initiative. This year, of the 24 PGA TOUR events participating in Birdies For Charity, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial’s $5.3 million is the largest on TOUR.

Tournament Chair Harold Muckleroy: “It is amazing how fast the Birdies for Charity program has grown at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. It was only 4 years ago that the tournament began to participate in the Birdies initiative and now we are the largest on the PGA TOUR” (Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial).

Hello Neighbor! Meschewski Open a Very Unique Charity Golf Tournament

Unique Neighborhood Charity Golf Tournament (2:13)

Golf enthusiast John Mechewski has founded a very unique charity golf tournament. In each of the last five years, the Meschewski Open has raised about $10,000 for the McHenry County Adult Program. The tournament’s success is due in large part to its $25 green fee.

The tournament uses a neighborhood golf course … literally. John Mechewski gets over 200 players to compete on two 18 hole courses built around the neighborhood, over streets and between houses using the almostGolf ball. They even cut the fairways with a lawnmower, then paint a circle around the hole as a pho-green.

Video added to YouTube: October 14, 2008

Caddy For A Cure Helps Golf Fans Get Close to Game and Support Charities

Caddy For A Cure Promotional Video (3:33)

Caddy For A Cure is the unique opportunity to help many worthy charities while providing the ultimate in golf experiences, the opportunity to caddie for a Tour Professional during the practice round of an official Tour event. 100% of all proceeds go to: The Fanconi Anemia Research Fund, Wounded Warrior Project, the PGA Tour players charity, the PGA Tour host site charity, and the PGA Tour Caddie Benevolent Fund (Caddy For A Cure).

License to Drive: Ryder Cup Plate Offering Nets Funds for Kentucky First Tee Programs

The Kentucky Post’s Jessica Noll noted that Kentucky drivers “contributed $17,422 to a golf charity for children through the purchase of 2008 Ryder Cup license plates in Kentucky.” This year’s Ryder Cup was held in Louisville last month.

The money “will be divided among the four” Kentucky chapters of The First Tee program, a charity of the World Golf Foundation. Chapters in Louisville, Lexington, Owensboro and Pineville “will each receive $4,355 raised through the sales of the special license plates” (KYPost.com, 9/25).

Ryder Cup Pulling in Millions for Various Charitable Organizations

In Louisville, Jennie Rees reports from the 2008 Ryder Cup and writes, “On behalf of the U.S. team, the PGA of America will distribute $2.6 million to charities under a formula that allots $200,000 apiece to the 12 players and captain Paul Azinger. Each gets $100,000 to go to charities of his choice; another $90,000 to colleges of his selection for the PGA Play Golf American University Programs; and $10,000 for the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships for families of service personnel killed or wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan.”

Golfer Paul Azinger said, “These players are representing their countries, and we’ve all gotten $200,000 to give to charity. That’s enough. We’re pretty excited about that. Every nickel of profit PGA of America makes goes back into the game. We’re here to represent the United States of America, our tour and our team. It’s golf in its purest form” (Louisville Courier-Journal, 9/19).

Great Scott! PGA Tour Player Expands His Foundation to Presence in Asia

PGA Tour player Adam Scott today launched the Adam Scott Foundation Asia. The organization is being established to create a long term sustainable organization that will support and offer opportunities to young people in Asia. Based in Singapore, it will be an extension of his Australian Foundation, which was founded in 2005.

Scott: “I believe that the giving of an opportunity may be one of the greatest gifts of all — and that’s why I set up the Australia Foundation in 2005 and wish to expand my charity now to Asia.”

The Adam Scott Foundation Asia will aim to support disadvantaged and underprivileged youth by providing opportunities to fulfill potential or overcome difficulties throughout life’s journey. The Foundation will provide grants and undertake special projects in support of strong charitable organizations to promote health, lifestyle and education while drawing on the community philanthropic spirit (PGA Tour).

2008 Time 100 Most Influential Includes Five Athletes

In this year’s Time 100: The World’s Most Influential People, LPGA player Lorena Ochoa, retired tennis star Andre Agassi, sprinter Oscar Pistorious, cycling great Lance Armstrong and soccer star Kaka are featured.

Ochoa: Nancy Lopez writes that “when you meet her for the first time, you experience a remarkable warmth and modesty.” Lopez adds, “Early in her career, Lorena recognized the opportunity to use her fame to improve education and reduce drop-out rates in her country. She first created a self-named foundation and subsequently funded an elementary school called La Barranca in her hometown. The school, which uses music, theater and other non-traditional learning tools to keep students engaged, will soon be joined by an adjacent high school.”

Agassi: Andy Roddick writes: “I was shocked that a person who has set such a high bar for athletic philanthropy still felt like he could do more. But that is Andre. There are most likely plenty of kids at Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy … who have never watched a match of his. I promise you that Andre could not care less. He would rather be viewed as the man who gives them dreams and opportunities.”

Pistorious: Pistorious is trying to qualify for the Beijing Olympic Games despite being an amputee, and Erik Weihenmayer writes that Pistorious is “on the cusp of a paradigm shift in which disability becomes ability, disadvantage becomes advantage. Yet we mustn’t lose sight of what makes an athlete great. … It’s what one does with those gifts, the hours devoted to training, the desire to be the best, that is at the true heart of a champion.”

Armstrong: Elizabeth Edwards writes, “He inspired all of us who face a cancer diagnosis to search out the doctors who believe that we can live, to hold on to those friends and family who stand beside our bed—and then to fight to prove the faith of those friends and the beliefs of those doctors well founded.”

Kaka: Kasey Keller notes that in 2004, Kaka “became the U.N. World Food Program’s youngest ambassador. And he is devoted to his faith. An evangelical Christian, Kaka has talked publicly about becoming a minister when he retires from the game.” Keller: “in an age in which many professional athletes care more about cars, women and controversy, it’s refreshing to see one who is committed to having a positive impact on the world around him” (Time, 5/12 issue).

Pink on the Links: Golfers to Don Pink Spikes This Weekend

USA Today’s Steve DiMeglio reports that as part of the Pinks on the Links program “intended to raise money” for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, “more than 100 players will sport pink Champ spikes” in the PGA Tour’s Players Championship and LPGA tour’s Michelob Ultra Classic.

Champ, the top brand of spikes on both tours, is also running an eBay charity auction that runs through May 10 at stores.ebay.com/pinkonthelinks (USA Today, 5/7).