One of the best things about the current professional golf tournament structure is that they’re staged to benefit local charities. It also is something that often is overlooked. There’s a great deal of excitement in crowning a winner on Sunday, and then the patrons go home and the event is largely forgotten until the next year.
The money raised by these tournaments, however, continues to work all year.
A recent article in the Toledo Blade emphasized just what a tournament can do. Even given the relatively small size of an LPGA Tournament in relation to a PGA Tournament, the community contribution of the LPGA’s Marathon Classic is impressive: Twenty three charities shared a pool of $378,000, bringing to $8.1 million the total raised since the event began in 1984.
The largest recipient was the Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund which received $27,000. Nine other charities received checks for $25,000 each. the beneficiaries were: Ronald McDonald House of NW Ohio, Bittersweet Farms, Diabetes Youth Services, Hancock County Center for Safe & Healthy Children, Imagination Station, Serenity Farms, Sylvania Area Family Services, Together We Can Make a Difference, and Toledo Hearing and Speech Center.
Thirteen other charities received contributions from $2,000 to $21,000.
I’ve attended several of the Marathon Classic (formerly known as the Jamie Farr) tournaments. They’re great events, and would make a great family outing for anyone in the Toledo or southeast-Michigan area. The crowds are much smaller (and friendlier, and far less drunk) than at the couple of PGA Tour events I’ve attended. My only observation is that the Marathon Classic could use a few tents or somesuch with kid-oriented activities—maybe some local LPGA pros giving kid lessons, putting contests, Wii golf.