|2008 JOHN DEERE CLASSIC RAISES $4.79M FOR CHARITY|
EAST MOLINE, Illinois (Novermber 3, 2008) - John Deere Classic officials today announced the 2008 tournament helped raise $4.79 million for some 500 regional charities, an increase of just under $200,000 over last year. Checks were mailed to participating charities on Friday. "In a difficult economic environment, the John Deere Classic and its Birdies for Charity program are proud to have played a role in assisting 500 local and regional charities to raise funds so they can continue the vital work they do in their communities," said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. "As always, the generosity of the people and businesses of the Quad Cities and neighboring communities continues to be remarkable even in tough times." Peterson noted this is the second consecutive year that charity donations exceeded the tournament purse of $4.2 million. Peterson also praised tournament sponsor John Deere for its support of the tournament and for underwriting the administrative costs of the Birdies for Charity Program, which enables 100 percent of Birdies pledges to go to charity. Under the Birdies program, donors typically pledge one cent for each birdie made during the tournament. In 2008, 1,921 birdies were recorded, meaning many donors wrote a check for $19.21 for the charity or charities to which they pledged. Many donors pledge to more than one charity. Others make lump sum pledges. In addition to receiving 100 percent of the Birdies pledges collected on their behalf, charities each received a 10 percent bonus from the tournament on the first $100,000 raised. The tournament contributed $300,000 to the bonus fund. The 2008 charity total of $4.79 million was up from $4.6 million the previous year. Charitable contributions were generated by a combination of tournament revenues, direct donations, and the Birdies for Charity program. The $4.79 million total translates to a per-capita contribution of $12.77 for every man, woman and child living the Quad Cities based on a population of 375,000. That makes the John Deere Classic one of only a handful of PGA Tour events to exceed $4 million in charity contributions and easily makes it the No. 1-ranked tournament for per-capita giving among regular PGA Tour events. "The PGA TOUR would like to congratulate the John Deere Classic on this remarkable charitable achievement," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Everyone associated with the event, including Deere & Company and other corporate sponsors, tournament staff and volunteers, and the countless fans who supported the tournament should take a great deal of pride in raising this very significant sum for those in need throughout the Quad Cities. The John Deere Classic has truly taken a leadership position in supporting the TOUR's mission of giving back in communities in which we play." PGA Tour veteran Kenny Perry won the 2008 John Deere Classic at Tournament Players Club Deere Run in Silvis, Ill. It was the 12th PGA Tour victory for the 47-year-old Kentuckian, who later in the year went on to star at the Ryder Cup. The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since 1993, the tournament has helped raise $23.4 million for charity.