A record $1.007 million was gifted to 52 Ozarks children’s charities on Tuesday, marking yet another banner year for the PGA Korn Ferry Tour’s Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.
“What a year. We are so happy for our charities, and we cannot thank local businesses and individuals enough for throwing their support to them,” Tournament Executive Director Jerald Andrews said during the annual Celebration of Sharing presented by The McQueary Family, held at Highland Springs Country Club. “In 2014, we set a goal to gift $1 million, which had never been done in one year, and the community rallied around that effort. Every year since has been a success, and this year is even more incredible, considering the challenges of the pandemic.”
Specifically, the tournament gifted $1,007,211 on Tuesday. Since John Q. Hammons founded the tournament in 1990, a total of $18,380,274 has been distributed to local charities.
In fact, nearly 93 percent of that total – or $17,085,352 – has been gifted since the involvement of Price Cutter Supermarkets, which has been a presenting or title sponsor the past 23 years. Dr Pepper has been on board for 18 years.
“Price Cutter and all its employee owners are proud to be involved in such an incredible event,” said Rob Marsh, Vice President for Price Cutter Supermarkets. “We have been blessed all 23 years to be able to help each one of these local children’s charities. We love how the money stays local and changes the lives of so many. We thank everyone for their hard work and participation. This is proof of where you shop truly matters.”
Tuesday’s ceremony was attended by Alex Baldwin, President of the Korn Ferry Tour.
“As one of our original tournaments on the Korn Ferry Tour, the Price Cutter Charity Championship has set the standard for 32 years and continues to raise the bar in many facets, most notably in their passion and commitment to charitable giving within the Springfield community,” Baldwin said. “We are grateful for the tournament team’s hard work and dedication to making a positive impact, and I can’t wait to be back in Springfield in July 2022.”
The tournament received support from over 400 businesses and individuals and enjoyed success in events such as:
- Skyboxes and other on-course sponsorships, as the PCCC celebrated the return of spectators
- A dozen golf experiences such as pro-ams
- Golf Ball & Charity Auction presented by University Plaza & CPI Technologies
- Harvest Moon Festival presented by SGC Foodservice
- The ULTIMATE presented by Ridewell Suspensions
- Platinum Clubs & Clays Classic presented by USA Mortgage-Kitrel Region
- TLC Properties Charity Sweepstakes
- Rick’s Automotive, Inc. Raffle
- Honoring Our Heroes presented by The Honor Flight of the Ozarks
- Rockin’ Roll Bike & Music Festival benefitting Music Therapy of the Ozarks
- NAMI Neon Night Run
REACTION OF CHARITY DIRECTORS
Susan Miles, Executive Director of Champion Athletes of the Ozarks, which assist those with developmental disabilities: “Champion Athletes is proud to be part of the Price Cutter Charity Championship. We look forward to working the Volunteer Tent each year. It is a perfect opportunity for our individuals to use their life-skills training and our work skills. We are counting, packing, serving volunteers, taking directions and following through with those directions. Thanks to the general sponsors, the funds we receive allow us to offer more programs to our individuals.”
Susan Mellentine, Chief Executive Officer of Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks: “We are so grateful at Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Ozarks for the continued support of everyone involved with the Price Cutter Charity Championship. With the funds received, we will continue to move forward with our mission to ignite the potential of our youth through the power of a mentor. Because our services are free to our families and volunteers, this money is crucial in keeping the safety and quality of our matches so our children can break destructive cycles and believe more is possible in life. Thank you to PCCC donors, volunteers, supporters and agencies. Together we can do BIG things!”
Jason O’Neal, Director of Missouri Fellowship of Christian Athletes: “It is an honor for Missouri FCA to participate in the PCCC. For 20-plus years, FCA has volunteered for trash service at the tournament and, in turn, the PCCC provides much-needed funding for the ministry. Through this funding, FCA is able to provide bibles and minister to literally thousands of middle school, high school and college coaches and athletes every year across Missouri.”
Stevie Stryker, Marketing and Development Coordinator of The Arc of the Ozarks, which uses its PCCC funds toward its No Limits Summer Camp: “If (the kids) were here today, I’m certain they all would say, in their different ways, ‘Thank you.’ The Arc’s No Limits Summer Program offers fun for children and young adults ages 6-21 with developmental disabilities. Activities are created and adapted so each person can participate. From swimming to playing sports, creating crafts and even performing in a talent show, we believe anyone can do anything. No Limits is one of our unfunded programs, and it costs over $100,000 per summer to host. Without our fundraising efforts and participation in the Price Cutter Charity Championship, we wouldn’t be able to provide this program for the people we support.”
Bonnie Keller, Executive Director of Ronald McDonald House: “We have been blessed to benefit from the Price Cutter Charity Championship since the first year of this amazing event in 1990. Our two Ronald McDonald Houses were built on the simple idea that nothing else should matter when a family is focused on healing their child. The PCCC has been instrumental in helping us be there for families during one of the most scary and vulnerable times of their lives, providing a ‘home-away-from-home’ for families of seriously ill and injured children for 32 years. We are truly grateful to be part of the PCCC family.”
SPONSORS WEIGH IN
Joselyn Baldner, President & CEO of Central Bank/Central Trust: “It is a privilege to be involved in the Price Cutter Charity Championship year after year because it benefits so many organizations right here in the Ozarks. As a community bank, one of our priorities is to try and help make our community a better place, and the organizations benefitting by a donation does that work for us every single day.”
Rick Meewes, General Partner of Reliable Toyota: “Everybody needs four things in life: Something to do. Someone to love. Someone to believe in. Something to hope for. I think this fits what the tournament does for all the charities it benefits.”
Russ Hinds, Owner of Mid-America Safety & Environmental: “The PCCC allows Mid-America Safety & Environmental the opportunity to impact many lives through our sponsorship and activities within the tournament. Due to the large outreach that the PCCC affords, we are able to feel confident that our financial support is maximized to the fullest extent possible. At Mid-America Safety & Environmental, we believe in having a positive impact on the lives of our clients and their employees. The PCCC allows us the same opportunity by working with the best charitable organizations that not only have a positive impact on individual lives, but a positive impact on our community as well.”
Sam M. Coryell of Coryell Collaborative Group/TLC Properties: “TLC Properties and my family are honored to be able to support such a meaningful and intentional organization. The Price Cutter Charity Championship influences many lives and makes a noticeable difference throughout the Ozarks. It’s no question that many residents of TLC Properties have been impacted by this group, so it’s no surprise that we continue to be involved every single year. The Price Cutter Charity Championship and TLC Properties share the same vision for the Ozarks. We believe in investing in our community through enriching the lives around us by benefiting local children’s charities. If we can make an impact on just one person in SWMO by partnering with this great organization, then TLC Properties will do whatever it can to fill that need.”
Kim Lorenzen, Vice President of Macadoodles South: “I’ve been involved with the tournament for several years now. The amount of support that we are able to provide to children’s charities within our community is amazing and continues to grow. I cannot think of a better way to support our communities than through our sponsorship. From a business marketing perspective, the exposure that Macadoodles has received is over the top. It’s a win-win situation.”
JUDY WEEKLEY VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Springfield’s Don Mihalevich was honored as the Judy Weekley Volunteer of the Year. A longtime volunteer, he stepped up last year to chair on-course services, ensuring PGA Korn Ferry Tour players and cadies had adequate product to remain hydrated. But his duties weren’t limited to tournament week. He organized, prepared and assisted the PCCC throughout the year in a variety of ways. He reached out to other captains whose teams were working the course and coordinated efforts to streamline communication. That improved efficiency and managed cart traffic on the course. His team also coordinated the placement of keys for evacuation vehicles. Additionally, he helped manage the VolunteerLocal software challenges, helping provide guidance to Volunteer Chair Sharon Alexander.
VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK
The Volunteer of the Week Award went to Alex Gillis, who takes vacation time each year in order to work the tournament. In Springfield, he works one day a week for CoxHealth, one day at the Springfield Zoo and another for Champion Athletes of the Ozarks. During the tournament, he arrived at 6 a.m. and never left until the last box was packed and loaded with snacks, hot dogs, bread and chips. “He is faster than all of the volunteers, and will have your snack in hand before anyone else can do the job,” Alexander said. “If you try to do his job, he will look at you with a great big smile and ask you to walk away. We have not found a job that Alex doesn’t like.”