Meijer LPGA Classic Features The Grand Taste Food Experience
More than 40 of West Michigan’s best restaurants and breweries will showcase their best at the Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give June 16 – 18 at Blythefield Country Club. The Meijer LPGA Classic tournament runs the week of June 13 – 18.
The three-day Grand Taste Food Experience is an all-you-can-eat food and craft beer sampling pavilion at the heart of Blythefield CC. A ticket to the tournament and to the Grand Taste is $30 each day for adults and $10 for youth. Regular tickets without the Grand Taste option are $10. Tickets are on sale at all Meijer stores and online at meijerLPGAclassic.com.
Simply Give, Meijer’s food pantry program, is the beneficiary of the tournament, and other related events, such as the 5K walk and run.
Meijer began Simply Give in 2008 and has raised $28 million as of 2017. That represents some 308 million meals. The Meijer LPGA Classic has raised more than $2.1 million in its three years of existence.
Meijer president Rick Keyes said that the company sponsored the tournament as a way of bringing more attention to Simply Give and the issue of hunger in America.
“Simply Give is what this is all about for us here at Meijer,” Keyes said. “We’ll have 144 women golfers who are at the top of their game, here in town, and the connection they make with the community is incredible. But what is also incredible is the work that we’re able to do for the community in feeding our neighbors. It really is rewarding to be a part of that.”
As part of the Grand Taste food tasing event, celebrity chefs Cat Cora and Carla Hall will offer cooking demonstrations.
Cora is a world renowned chef best known for her featured role as an “Iron Chef” on Food Network’s Iron Chef America and as a co-host of Bravo’s Around the World in 80 Plates. Cora makes regular appearances on a variety of talk shows and has hosted and guest judged a number of food shows, including Bravo’s Top Chef, Food Network’s Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. She has opened numerous restaurants, including Cat Cora’s Taproom that is located in the Detroit Metro Airport.
Hall is co-host of ABC’s popular lifestyle series, The Chew. Although she is best known as a competitor on Bravo’s Top Chef, where she won over audiences with her catch phrase, “Hootie Hoo,” and her philosophy to always cook with love. Carla Hall’s Southern Kitchen – her first restaurant – opened in New York City in late 2015. A fast-casual love letter to Nashville, the restaurant features iconic Nashville Hot Chicken and southern sides, anchored by Hall’s family recipes and perfected with her personal touches.
For those outside Michigan and the Great Lakes area, Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 230 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Privatetely-owned and family-operated since 1934, donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. When I moved to Michigan some twenty years ago, a Meijer was the first superstore I had ever seen. The stores sell everything from groceries to camping equipment. Although such stores now are commonplace, I remember feeling overwhelmed at the size of the place. Longtime Michigan natives call it “Thrifty Acres.”
Blythefield Country Club, just north of Grand Rapids, dates to 1928. The club has previously hosted has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler.
About the Meijer LPGA Classic:
- Date: June 13-18, 2017
- Purse: $2 million
- Field: 144 LPGA Professionals, after 36 holes it will be cut down to low 70 (including ties)
- Format: 72-hole stroke play
- Location: Blythefield Country Club
- Television: Golf Channel
- Volunteers: 800
- Information: meijerLPGAclassic.com