PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL (June 11, 2018) -- The Honda Classic will award a record-shattering $4.55 million to South Florida children's charities in 2018, the 12th consecutive year the PGA TOUR event has been able to increase its impact on the lives of local children and their families.
More than 50,000 children and their families who are affiliated with 137 charitable organizations in the Palm Beach County area will benefit in 2018 from the proceeds of the Honda Classic Cares initiative.
Children's Healthcare Charity, Inc., the host organization of The Honda Classic, will make the distributions during a week-long series of Honda Classic Cares site visits that begin today and also at the tournament's annual Celebration of Philanthropy which will be held June 14.
The $4.55 million is $920,000 or 25% more than the $3.63 million that was distributed in 2017.
"We continue to raise the bar and challenge the imagination on the impact we can make on the Palm Beach County community," Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. "We couldn't be more ecstatic about this year's results which are a tribute to the fans who enjoy our tournament each year, our sponsors led by American Honda, the longest standing title sponsor on the PGA TOUR, and of course the players who have embraced our event and participate each year.
"Honda Classic Cares Week gives us an opportunity to take a step back and visit our grant recipients and touch the powerful impact that we are making in the lives of children in the local community."
Propelled by the return of Tiger Woods, which fueled an unprecedented turnout on Friday, and the drama of a Sunday playoff won by new World No. 1 Justin Thomas, the 2018 Honda Classic also set a new attendance record this year with 224,642 confirmed spectators.The attendance rise led to across the board increases in concessions and merchandise revenue and coincided with increased sponsorship participation.
The $4.55 million being awarded to charity this year includes a third-consecutive individual grant of $1 million to the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.
The Honda Classic has given close to $40 million to South Florida children's charities since its inception 37 years ago including almost $25 million in the 12 years since Children's Healthcare Charity, Inc. took over the event and moved it to PGA National Resort & Spa.
Some of the initiatives evolving from The Honda Classic's charity disbursements this year range from helping preschool children involved with Literacy Coalition and Grandma's Place enter kindergarten with essential school readiness skills, to creating opportunities for children fighting cancer to meet other young cancer warriors which creates a sense of community through POST, to supporting a safe place for kids to come together free of bullying and stress and share through song as members of Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.
The Honda Classic has teamed with young Tommy Morrissey's UnLIMBited Foundation to provide financial assistance to children who need limb-correction surgery, has helped introduce golf to youth through the First Tee of the Palm Beaches and has helped fund the summer program attendance of kids and the expansion of Loggerhead Marinelife Center, a world-renowned sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education and conservation center where youngsters learn about turtle recovery.
Several 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. Fifteen finalists will participate in a drawing June 14 for a 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback with Sport Touring Trim. They each correctly guessed the total of 1,090 birdies recorded at the 2018 Honda Classic.
When The Honda Classic moved to PGA National Resort & Spa in 2007, it awarded $505,000 to charity. By 2010, it had eclipsed the $1 million mark ($1,018,000) and it broke through the $2 million barrier in 2013 with $2.114 million in contributions. It surpassed the $3 million barrier in 2016 and now has broken through the $4 million threshold.
The growth is a testament to American Honda's 37 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. Player, corporate and spectator support has led to increased ticket sales, parking revenues, concessions and sponsorships. The Honda Classic has also benefitted the past three years from marquee champions Adam Scott, Rickie Fowler and Justin Thomas, who has risen to World No. 1 since his victory in the 2018 Honda Classic.
The 2019 Honda Classic will be played February 25-March 3, 2019 with Thomas defending his title.