The PGA of America continued its long-standing tradition of making an impact in the communities and regions that host the PGA Championship by partnering with four local Charleston nonprofits. In conjunction with Kiawah Island Golf Resort, the PGA of America made charitable donations to WINGS for Kids, Kiawah Cares, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and the Lowcountry Food Bank, all nonprofit organizations that serve the Lowcountry and surrounding communities.
The selected recipients are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and benefit missions that align with the PGA of America’s commitment to assisting underserved and marginalized communities in areas where PGA Championships are held. WINGS for Kids and Kiawah Cares each received a $10,000 donation. Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and the Lowcountry Food Bank received food donations from the PGA Championship and Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group to feed community members in need.
“It is a proud and longstanding tradition of the PGA Championship to give back to the local community that graciously serves as our host,” said 2021 PGA Championship Director Ryan Ogle. “We are delighted to reach out with Kiawah Island Golf Resort to support some very worthy causes that are making a difference in the Charleston area, as we leave an indelible impact on local charities in the Lowcountry.”
“Kiawah Island Golf Resort is pleased to have the opportunity to make a donation in partnership with the PGA of America to the local community that will make a positive impact on Lowcountry families that need assistance,” said PGA Past President Roger Warren, President of Kiawah Island Golf Resort.
WINGS for Kids
WINGS for Kids is dedicated to helping children thrive through social and emotional learning. The nonprofit’s early and comprehensive approach is grounded in the principles of positive youth development and evidence-based social emotional learning practices to foster mindsets, skills and confidence within each child to behave well, make good decisions and build healthy relationships – all necessary skills for success in school and life.
The funding provided by the PGA of America and Kiawah Island Golf Resort will be used to support the organization’s WINGSLeader training program, which empowers a diverse group of individuals to make positive impacts in children’s lives. The majority of WINGSLeaders are college-aged African American mentors who dedicate more than 20 hours per week to working with students in afterschool programs at Title I schools across the Lowcountry.
Kiawah Cares is the bridge that connects Kiawah Island residents with opportunities to support the Johns Island and Wadmalaw Island communities through ongoing volunteerism and donations. The organization provides a wide range of services for these rural areas, focusing mainly on education, wellness care, food and housing aid for underserved and marginalized groups.
Kiawah Cares will gift the $10,000 donation from PGA of America and Kiawah Island Golf Resort to Edith L. Frierson Elementary School, a rural Wadmalaw Island Title I school, with approximately 150 students and a poverty level of approximately 73 percent. The funding will be used to expand the school’s Learning Garden, which aims to foster a connection between students and their food, with the hope of influencing children to make healthy choices. Through the Learning Garden, students will have the opportunity to learn how to cultivate their own food sources, practice healthy agricultural techniques, use sustainable energy and more through creative hands-on experiences. The school also plans to use the Learning Garden to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for the school cafeteria and families in the surrounding community.
E.L. Frierson Elementary intends to expand the Learning Garden over the next several years, offering more space for the students as well as the larger community. The funds provided by the PGA of America and Kiawah Island Golf Resort will supply a new well with a solar pump to power irrigation, allowing the school to easily water and maintain the gardens throughout the year.
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach
For more than 30 years, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has supported the Lowcountry by providing basic and emergency resources, education, job assistance and health programs for community members in need. Its mission is to encourage and support self-sufficiency and self-worth through education, wellness and outreach services, as well as help remedy inequity amongst marginalized identities and bring balance to underserved communities.
Through its team of dedicated case managers, the nonprofit is able to provide personalized service and long-term support for individuals who are working towards self-sufficiency and stability. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach has shifted its focus to providing essential emergency services like food programs, financial aid and job assistance, and has provided more than $100,000 in financial support – a significant increase compared to years past.
Lowcountry Food Bank
Lowcountry Food Bank serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina, providing nutritious food options and education opportunities for partner agencies and schools that serve the community’s most vulnerable individuals. Current data indicates that 1 in 4 children in the area rely on soup kitchens and community pantries for dinner. In 2020, Lowcountry Food Bank distributed more than 39 million pounds of food and essential products to support community members in need.
Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and Lowcountry Food Bank received food donations from the PGA Championship via the event’s food partner, Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group. The donations will help provide thousands of meals for local families in need.
In addition, more than $150,000 was donated to 10 local nonprofit organizations through a volunteer partnership with Delaware North’s Patina Restaurant Group. Teams of volunteers from each nonprofit organization ran the concessions and drink stands during the PGA Championship, in exchange for a percentage of the total sales earned. All tips earned at the concessions and drink stands were also donated to the nonprofits.
Since 1994, the PGA Championship has continually featured the strongest field in all of golf, as measured by the Official World Golf Rankings. It also has consistently brought the most international competitors to the United States.
Golf’s best professionals began competing for the PGA Championship’s Rodman Wanamaker Trophy in 1916. Past Champions include both the legends and recent stars of the game: Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, Byron Nelson, Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day, Justin Thomas and Brooks Koepka.
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