2009 BMW Pro-Am to benefit several local charities

Published 2:25 pm Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The 2008 BMW Charity Pro-Am, which raised more than $900,000, also benefited several local charities, including FENCE, Hospice and Thermal Belt Outreach. Bright&squo;s Creek Golf Club in Polk County was for the first time one of three host courses for the event in 2008, and will be again a host course in 2009.

The 2009 BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament will be played May 14-17, 2009, at Bright&squo;s Creek Golf Club, The Carolina Country Club and Thornblade Club golf courses. All four rounds will be televised live by the Golf Channel to a worldwide audience.

The BMW Charity Pro-Am is the only tournament on the PGA TOUR&squo;s Nationwide Tour where amateurs and celebrities are grouped with Nationwide Tour professionals in a four-day better-ball competition over three courses. Amateurs, celebrities and pros rotate between three courses on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with the 14 lowest scoring pro-amateur/pro-celebrity teams advancing to play Sunday&squo;s final round at Thornblade Club. Celebrities play once at each course on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The professional winner of the overall 72-hole event will take home $126,000 from the total purse of $700,000, which is one of the largest purses on the Nationwide Tour. Amateurs and celebrities will compete for individual prizes and cash donations to the charity of their choice out of the beneficiaries selected by South Carolina Charities, Inc.

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The first eight tournaments have raised more than $6.6 million for 125+ area charities.

The 77 charities that will benefit from the 2009 tournament are: 100 Black Men of the Upstate, A Child&squo;s Haven, American Diabetes Association, Anderson Area YMCA, Arts Partnership of Spartanburg, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Upstate, Blue Ridge Council, Boy Scouts of America, Boys Home of the South, Camperdown Academy, Cancer Association of Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties, Inc., Carolina Elite Soccer Academy, Carolina Football Club, Carolina Miracle League, Carolina Youth Symphony, Child Evangelism Fellowship, Children&squo;s Advocacy Center of Spartanburg, Christ Church Episcopal School, Christmas in Action Spartanburg, Clemson Sertoma Club, Cliffs Residence Outreach, Compass of Carolina, Crime Stoppers of Spartanburg, Dogs for Autism, Dribble for Destiny, Inc., Family Connection of South Carolina – Spartanburg, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, First Baptist Church of Asheville-Youth Missions, Fountain Inn Kiwanis Club, Friends of the Guardian ad Litem of Spartanburg and Cherokee Counties, Glenn Springs Academy, Greenville County Foster Parent Association, Greenwood YoungLife, Greer Relief and Resources Agency, Inc., Habitat for Humanity of Greenville County, Hands on Greenville, Hickory Nut Gorge Olympiad, Hidden Treasure Christian School,&bsp; James F. Daniel Jr. Post #3 American Legion, KidSenses Children&squo;s InterACTIVE Museum, Meals on Wheels of Greenville, Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, Mountain Area Child and Family Center, National Christian College Athletic Association, Off the Coast Ministries, Our Lady of the Rosary Catholic School, Palmetto Council Boy Scouts of America, Palmetto Health Baptist Easley Foundation, Palmetto Hearts, Phillis Wheatley Association, Pickens County Meals on Wheels, Pleasant Valley Connection Inc., Prince of Peace Catholic School, Project Hope Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas, Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Scottish Rite Foundation of SC ‐ John I Smith Center, South Carolina Junior Golf Foundation, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Foundation, Spartanburg YoungLife, St. Anthony of Padua School, St. Joseph&squo;s Catholic School, Taylors Free Medical Clinic, The Charles Lea Center Foundation, The Ellen Hines Smith Girls&squo; Home, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, The Walker Foundation, United Ministries, Upstate SC Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Wings For Children/Angel flight, Wings of Hope, YMCA Camp Greenville and YMCA of Greater Spartanburg.

&dquo;We are very excited about the number of charities we are going to be able to support in 2009, especially with the current economic climate,&dquo; said Bobby Hitt, president of South Carolina Charities, Inc. &dquo;We are grateful that we are going to be able to help so many worthy charities that are located in our communities.&dquo;

Each of the charities will receive 100 percent of the proceeds for selling general admission tickets. Each of the charities are also encouraged to field golf teams for the Tuesday, May 12 Charity Challenge Pro-Am golf tournament to be held at The Carolina Country Club. The winning Pro-Am team will earn up to $20,000 that will be distributed to the charity of their choice. Each charity is also encouraged to recruit as many volunteers as possible. Participating organizations will retain the uniform package fee from each of their charity-specific volunteers who sign up and work a minimum of two shifts during the tournament. Charities will also have the opportunity to sell playing spots and VIP packages, which can earn their organization additional funds.

&dquo;This involvement is an excellent way for the charities to earn important charitable dollars,&dquo; said Darin MacDonald, tournament director of the BMW Charity Pro-Am. &dquo;It provides them with a strong sense of involvement beyond simply being a beneficiary. The more they put into it, the more they get out of it.&dquo;

For more information on the BMW Charity Pro-Am golf tournament; sponsorship opportunities or volunteerism, call (864) 297-1660 or visit the tournament&squo;s website at www.bmwcharitygolf.com.