The Honda Classic is awarding a record-shattering $5.1 million to 157 South Florida philanthropic organizations during 2019 Honda Classic Cares Week, the 13th consecutive year that the PGA TOUR event has been able to increase its impact on the lives of local children and their families.
More than 75,000 children and their families will benefit from the Honda Classic Cares initiative this year. The distributions are being made during a week-long series of site visits beginning today and extending through the tournament’s annual Celebration of Philanthropy June 6.
The $5.1 million is $550,000 higher than the $4.55 million that was distributed in 2018.
“The continued support we receive from the Palm Beach County community, our sponsors led by American Honda, the longest-standing sponsor on the PGA TOUR, and the players who embrace our event and our volunteers continues to allow us to extend our charitable reach each year,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “Honda Classic Cares Week gives us a platform to celebrate our grant recipients and view the powerful impact that we are making on the lives of children in the local community.”
The $5.1 million being awarded includes a fourth-consecutive individual grant of over $1 million to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The Honda Classic has given more than $44 million to South Florida children’s charities since its inception 38 years ago, including almost $30 million in the 13 years since Children’s Healthcare Charity, Inc. became the host organization and moved the event to PGA National Resort and Spa.
The Honda Classic Cares mission of giving back to the children of the community is reflected by more than 70% of all distributed funds being allocated to improving pediatric services. Along with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, Florida Outreach Center for the Blind, Inc., 211 Palm Beach Treasure Coast, Inc., The UnLIMBited Foundation Inc., Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Palm Beach County, Inc. and Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization will be receiving grants in this category.
211 Palm Beach Treasure Coast, Inc.’s grant will help fund its Special Needs Helpline which helps parents from the moment they get the frightening news that their child (birth to 22) has a disability, throughout the child’s school years, and into young adulthood.
There is a special effort being made in Western Palm Beach County including the Glades area where five charities are receiving grants. — The Literacy Coalition, Young Singers, Student Aces, Hope Symphony and The Glades Initiative, which includes the Glades Area Food Bank, Nutritional Education and Residential Navigational services.
Honda Classic Cares will be aligning with educational initiatives throughout Palm Beach County like the Education Foundation, Jupiter’s El Sol and the YMCAs of South Palm Beach County and the Palm Beaches.
The YMCA of South Palm Beach County grant will provide water safety education to help lower the drowning-risk for 200 children from low-income, migrant, minority, and autism/special-needs families through the YMCA’s WaterSmart Community Initiative.
In addition to the grants, many charities are receiving proceeds from the American Honda Birdies for Children program, where fans donate for the chance to guess the number of birdies in the tournament. There will be 49 finalists participating in a drawing on June 6 for a 2019 Honda Insight Hybrid. They each correctly guessed the total of 1,320 birdies recorded at the 2019 Honda Classic, where Keith Mitchell won his first PGA TOUR event in dramatic fashion with a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole on Sunday to edge World No. 1 Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler.
While the tournament strives to provide Palm Beach County with a premier professional sporting event, the ultimate goal is to positively impact youth in need and create a brighter future for our community.
The growth of the Honda Classic’s charitable donations is a testament to American Honda’s 38 years as the longest-standing title sponsor on the PGA TOUR as well as partnerships with PGA National Resort & Spa, PGA of America, Palm Beach County, the City of Palm Beach Gardens and the PGA TOUR along with the support from Founders Club sponsors Tire Kingdom and United Technologies, and more than 200 other community-minded local sponsors.
Next year’s Honda Classic will be played February 24-March 1, 2020.