April 20, 2007
Schwab Cup donations top $1 million
By David Bolling
11 charities get golf tourney funds
At the Sonoma Golf Club, host to the annual multi-million dollar Charles Schwab Championship Cup, golf is more than just a very profitable game. It is also a very important source of philanthropy for Sonoma Valley nonprofits, 11 of which received checks on Wednesday for undisclosed amounts that brought the total of Schwab Cup donations over the million dollar mark after just four years.
Schwab Cup executive director Leon Gilmore referred to the Valentine's Day distribution as "the gift of giving," and presented the checks to nonprofit representatives during a brief breakfast ceremony at the Sonoma Golf Club.
Gilmore also introduced David Grieve, president of A&C Ventures, a Sonoma investment firm, who has been named chair of the 2007 event.
"I'm proud to be associated with the tournament for what it gives to local charities," said Grieve. "When I was offered a chance to do this job I jumped at it. With these checks we're going to be over a million dollars that the PGA Championship tour has donated, and in 2007 there's a commitment for a minimum of $400,000 more."
Proceeds from the 2006 tournament went to CommonBond Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, Hanna Boys Center, the First Tee of the North Bay, Twin Valley Aquatics, Sonoma County Children's Charities, Sonoma Valley Hospital, Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, Valley of the Moon Boys & Girls Club, Valley of the Moon Children's Foundation and YoungLife (Sonoma Chapter).
Kris Van Giesen, chief development officer at Hanna Boys Center, called the tournament donations "an amazing display of how the PGA TOUR, the Schwab Cup and Sonoma Golf Club support this community. They give the gate receipts back, and they bring national exposure to the Sonoma Valley."
Grieve has been active in promoting the tournament since its start in 2003 and has brought numerous players to the Pro-Am tournament, which precedes the Championship Cup play. He has helped produce charity golf tournaments for Big Brothers Big Sisters and Presentation School and wants to bring that experience and expertise to bear on the Schwab Cup "to make it better and better. We want to get more people to realize that this is one of the top charity generators in Sonoma."
Grieve is himself a formidable golfer, carrying a handicap of slightly less than 1, and is the immediate past Sonoma Golf Club champion.
The PGA TOUR folks said they wanted a local guy to be involved," he noted, "so they asked me to do it."
The 2007 Charles Schwab Cup Championship tournament will take place Oct. 22 to 28.