|Inaugural Travelers Championship Generates $650,000 for Charity|
Anne Marie McLaughlin
Hartford, Conn., Nov. 6, 2007- The Travelers Championship, Connecticut's PGA TOUR event, announced today that the 2007 tournament, its first year with a new title sponsor, doubled the previous year's charity donation, generating more than $650,000 for charity and producing millions in economic development for the region.
Planning for the 2008 Travelers Championship is well underway, marked by the launch of sponsorship opportunities this month and continued progress on the $4.5 million practice facility being constructed at the championship's course, TPC River Highlands. The new facility is a key part of the championship's strategic plan to ensure the tournament's future with the PGA TOUR and to support the event's growth. The Travelers Championship will be held June 16 - 22, 2008.
"As title sponsor, Travelers is committed to building on the prestige of this storied tournament to make it a premier sporting event in the Northeast. We are quite pleased to have delivered a world-class event that raised funds and awareness for our designated charities, while also making a positive impact on the Greater Hartford community," said Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Travelers. "Our team is hard at work on the 2008 event and we look forward to making it even better each year."
Primary beneficiaries of the $650,000 were the Travelers Championship co-charities, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and the Greater Hartford Jaycees. In addition, numerous charitable organizations benefited from the event through a variety of fundraising programs and donations.
"Funds raised through the Travelers Championship provide vital support to The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, thereby enabling us to offer children facing serious illness an opportunity to build self-esteem and restore joy," said Ray Lamontagne, chairman of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
Located in Ashford, Conn., The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a residential summer camp and year-round center designed to serve children and families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses. Every summer, more than 1,000 very special youngsters receive an empowering camp experience free of charge. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp offers additional programs in the off-season for campers, their families and healthcare professionals. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp was named as a designated co-charity of the Travelers Championship in 2007, which will serve to raise awareness of the Camp among the tournament's worldwide audience in addition to the financial contribution.
The Greater Hartford Jaycees will use the proceeds for more than 40 charitable ventures in Greater Hartford, including distributing turkeys at Thanksgiving to families in need, delivering Baskets of Joy to underprivileged children at Easter and building playgrounds in the community. In addition, the group will distribute scholarships to local students and grants to a variety of community organizations.
"The Travelers Championship makes it possible for the Greater Hartford Jaycees to achieve our mission of leadership development through community service," said Amy C. Anderson, president of the Greater Hartford Jaycees. "Through recruiting, organizing and managing the volunteers at the Travelers Championship, we are able to develop our leadership skills, and then use the funds to benefit those in need in our community."
More than 30 additional Connecticut charities benefited from the championship through thousands of dollars raised in the Birdies for Charity pledge-based fundraiser and the Chip In for Charity ticket sales fundraiser. In addition, the Travelers Championship made contributions to the World Golf Hall of Fame and The First Tee, a program that utilizes golf as a vehicle for youth leadership and character training.
"We are grateful for the many companies who supported us as sponsors in our inaugural year, making it possible to generate these funds for our charity partners. We look forward to working with these businesses in the year ahead," said Nathan Grube, Travelers Championship tournament director. "In addition, we are pleased to have had the opportunity to create economic development for local businesses. Between the utilization of hotels, airports and transportation providers; our guests' spending in local restaurants and shops; and the operational expenses we invested with a variety of business to build the championship site, the Travelers Championship generated millions for the local economy. Based on our investment in the local economy and the funds we raised for charity, the championship is truly an event that Connecticut can be proud to have in the community."
The Travelers Championship has plans for continued growth in the year ahead. A state-of-the-art practice facility will be unveiled at TPC River Highlands, designed to accommodate the PGA TOUR players and to offer optimal viewing experiences for fans. The championship will introduce a variety of interactive spectator experiences at the event, as well.
"Looking to 2008, the new facility will open, new experiences will be implemented for fans and the improvements we launched in 07 will continue. We introduced the new era last year, and this year we will build on it-- this is the new era," said Grube.
About the Travelers Championship
The Travelers Championship will be held June 16 - 22, 2008, at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. As the only PGA TOUR event in the northeast in early summer, the Travelers Championship is one of the region's premier sporting events. Primary beneficiaries of the Travelers Championship are The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, serving children facing serious illness, and the Greater Hartford Jaycees, a leadership development and community service organization. The event is sponsored by Travelers, a leading provider of property and casualty insurance. Travelers has been doing business in the community for nearly a century and a half, and today has more than 6,000 employees in the Greater Hartford area. Travelers has been a sponsor of this event each year since its inception in 1952, becoming title sponsor in 2007. Complete details are available on www.TravelersChampionship.com.