Southern Company support helps TOUR Championship make record-setting $3.56 million charitable donation from 2020 tournament
November 19, 2020
Event has now raised more than $37 million for Atlanta charities since 1998
The TOUR Championship, with the support of Proud Partners Southern Company and Coca-Cola, donated $3.56 million from the 2020 tournament, breaking the previous record despite the absence of spectators at East Lake Golf Club for the FedExCup Playoffs finale that saw World No. 1 Dustin Johnson claim his first FedExCup title.
The TOUR Championship has raised more than $37 million for local nonprofits since the event was first staged at East Lake Golf Club in 1998, including its four charitable beneficiaries: East Lake Foundation, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee® of Metro Atlanta.
“Our long-standing involvement with the TOUR Championship and East Lake illustrates our steadfast belief that the communities where we live and serve must be better because we are there,” CEO Tom Fanning said. “The charitable impact Southern Company is able to make via our role as the Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and PGA Tour Champions and a Proud Partner of the TOUR Championship exemplifies what we call being ‘bigger than our bottom line.’”
“Today’s charity announcement is a bright spot during what has been a challenging year for this tournament and sporting events everywhere,” Executive Director Allison Fillmore said. “The pandemic forced our team to adapt on many levels in order to host a successful event, especially as it relates to our annual charitable donation. Every constituent involved in this tournament, including our Proud Partners Coca-Cola and Southern Company, should take a great deal of pride in what we were able to generate for the community under difficult circumstances.”
Through the creation of the “Golf With a Purpose” Charity Challenge – a 9-hole exhibition staged on the eve of the 2020 TOUR Championship that featured NFL Hall of Famer Jerome Bettis and NBA legend Vince Carter as well as PGA TOUR players Zach Johnson and Ryan Palmer – the match was able to raise more than $1 million thanks to the involvement of Proud Partners Coca-Cola and Southern Company as well as several other local Atlanta companies.
Throughout tournament week, the TOUR Championship and East Lake Foundation also partnered to host the TOUR Championship Golf Ball, a virtual fundraising experience that encouraged donations to the tournament’s charitable beneficiaries as well a virtual auction with prizes ranging from signed memorabilia to a high-end golf vacation.
These two fundraising initiatives aided in the TOUR Championship’s ability to not only make a significant charitable investment in the local community but eclipse the total donation from the 2019 tournament.
The East Lake Foundation was founded 25 years ago to revitalize a troubled inner-city neighborhood into a vibrant community where all residents can thrive. The East Lake Initiative partners include The Villages of East Lake mixed-income apartment homes; Charles R. Drew Charter School, serving more than 1,900 children from Pre-K through grade 12; the East Lake Family YMCA, Sheltering Arms East Lake, Emory University Center for Social Enterprise; First Tee of Metro Atlanta, Charlie Yates Golf Course, and East Lake Golf Club.
In addition to the East Lake Foundation that has been supported by the TOUR Championship since it was first staged at East Lake Golf Club in 1998, the TOUR Championship also supports both the Grove Park Foundation and Purpose Built Schools Atlanta. These three organizations have been at the forefront of changing community conditions to improve health and wellness outcomes and promote equitable opportunities for economically disadvantaged residents with the belief that transforming distressed neighborhoods into healthy and thriving ones is the key to ending the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
“The East Lake Foundation and our Atlanta Purpose Built Communities partner organizations are incredibly grateful for the continued partnership and unprecedented financial support from the TOUR Championship, its Proud Partners and other sponsors,” said Daniel J. Shoy, Jr., President and CEO of the East Lake Foundation. “The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn has disproportionately affected the residents we serve. This generous contribution will allow our organizations to continue to focus on providing targeted support to help avert further crisis and stabilize families.”
The TOUR Championship’s donation also benefits the First Tee® of Metro Atlanta, an international youth development organization designed to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programs that build character, instill life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. The First Tee® of Metro Atlanta serves more than 145,000 participants across eight Metro Atlanta counties.
The 2021 TOUR Championship will welcome the PGA TOUR’s top 30 players back to Atlanta from Sept. 1-5 as they vie for the FedExCup title in the finale of the FedExCup Playoffs.