… in a good way, as Shaw Charity Classic posts record-setting fundraising efforts
Every golfer can relate to this feeling.
You have a number in mind, typically an ambitious goal.
And when you add ’em all up, you have … uh … exceeded expectations.
In this case, that’s a good thing.
A very, very good thing. Shaw Charity Classic officials delivered big news and big bucks Tuesday, announcing the fifthanniversary instalment of Calgary’s wildly successful senior shootout at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club raised a recordsetting $8,391,413 for youth-based charities across the province. That shatters the previous mark for the largest charitable give in PGA Tour Champions history, a bar that they have raised year after year. The initial goal for 2017 was to drum up just north of $6 million in donations, pushing their fiveyear total past the $20-million plateau.
Done, and then some. “I know the reaction from our patron group and from Shaw, when we told them the numbers at our last board meeting, there were certainly some jaws dropping around the table,” beamed Sean Van Kesteren, the executive director of the Shaw Charity Classic.
“It’s not just a golf tournament anymore. It’s a major charitable event that has significant impacts not only in Calgary, but Alberta in general. And who knows, maybe we’ll be able to grow it even bigger.”
You’d be crazy to bet against that.
After all, this has become an annual tradition for the Shaw Charity Classic.
Set a lofty fundraising goal. Eclipse your own record. Repeat.
Now a staple on Calgary’s summer sporting calendar, the Shaw Charity Classic has totalled $22.1 million in donations dating back to 2013.
This year’s haul will benefit 159 different youth-based organizations and causes.
“The money that the leadership group and Shaw Communications have been able to raise for charity in literally five short years, it really is outstanding” said PGA Tour Champions president Greg McLaughlin. “It’s remarkable and it’s also quite an accomplishment, something that on our tour and at the PGA Tour, everybody is really proud of.”
You have to look at the fundraising statistics on the PGA Tour to truly provide perspective on what’s being accomplished in Calgary.
According to charity figures released this past January, only four tournaments on the primary circuit — the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on California’s stunning coastline, the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio, the Dean & Deluca Invitational in Dallas and the
John Deere Classic in Silvis, Ill. — surpassed the US$10million mark in 2016.
The PGA Tour’s flagship event, The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, touted a tournament-record total of US$8.7 million in 2017.
The Shaw Charity Classic is nearing that same stratosphere, albeit in Canadian currency.
Even before Scott McCarron put the finishing touches on a three-round tally of 16-under 194 and was whitehatted as the latest champion, it was crystal-clear that the fifth annual birdie-fest at Canyon Meadows had been another smash success.
Everybody expected Tuesday’s announcement would be record-setting.
But 8.39 million?!? Whoa. That tops the previous gold standard by more than $3 million. (The 2016 Shaw Charity Classic raised $5.2 million and change).
“We began our five-year celebrations by encouraging the public to find a small way to make their mark on this powerful event in Alberta that is having a lasting impact on communities throughout the province,” said tournament chairman Clay Riddell. “This donation proves Albertans have made their mark in a major way.”
A grand total of 2,400 individuals from across the province and even around the globe chipped in through the Birdies for Kids program, presented by AltaLink.
McCarron & Co. did their part by racking up 83 circles on the Par-5 finishing hole at Canyon Meadows, good for $500 apiece through Shaw’s Birdies for Charity initiative. At the trophy presentation, CEO Brad Shaw announced the title sponsor would round those proceeds up to $50,000.
And golf fans stashed their own clubs for a few days to show their support, with 45,250 spectators filing through the gates to watch a star-studded field that was headlined by Fred Couples, Nick Faldo, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie and Vijay Singh.
“I’m sure there will be some very happy charities around the province. Hopefully that will make their year,” Van Kesteren said of Tuesday’s reveal. “Really, I think the most staggering number is this will help over 480,000 kids in one year, have a positive effect on 480,000 children. That’s impactful. That’s a big deal.”
Sure is, and nobody will be surprised if the number is even higher in 2018.
“I think the sky is the limit with this tournament,” McLaughlin said. “Our feeling is that it’s going to continue to grow and do great things.”
Canadians made a major mark on the fifth anniversary of the Calgary Shaw Charity Classic by chipping in to raise a record $8,391,413 for 159 youthbased charities across Alberta.