29 Oct

TRAVELERS DONATES $1.08 MILLION TO CHARITY

TRAVELERS CHAMPIONSHIP GENERATES $1.08 MILLION FOR CHARITY

HARTFORD, Conn., Oct. 28, 2009 – The Travelers Championship, Connecticut’s PGA TOUR event, announced today that the 2009 tournament generated $1,080,000 to benefit the event’s designated charities, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and the Greater Hartford Jaycees, and over 130 other charities throughout the state of Connecticut. In support of the PGA TOUR’s Tradition of Giving Back, the Travelers Championship donates 100 percent of net proceeds to charity and participates in other fundraising programs as part of the tournament.  The 2009 Travelers Championship charitable contribution surpassed the $767,279 raised in 2008, an increase of more than 40 percent, achieving the highest charitable amount ever raised by the tournament.

“The opportunity to generate over $1 million for local charities throughout Connecticut is truly remarkable, and would not have been possible without the continued support of our sponsors, volunteers and the thousands of fans who came out during tournament week,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “The Travelers Championship has become one of the premier events on the PGA TOUR and as we prepare for 2010, we encourage everyone to show their support. Be it a charity participating in a fundraiser, sponsors utilizing the tournament to grow their business, or fans and volunteers coming out to be part of the excitement, this event is truly a community partnership that offers a role for everyone to be involved.”

Included in the $1.08 million donation is a contribution of $180,000 from The Travelers Companies, Inc., who pledged on the final day of the tournament to raise the overall charitable donation to equal the winner’s purse.

“As title sponsor, Travelers is proud to support an event that has such a positive impact on so many people and organizations in our community,” said Andy Bessette, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Travelers. “We’re so pleased to have been a part of growing the tournament’s charitable contributions for 2009 as a way to show our appreciation to the volunteers, fans, sponsors, players and tournament staff, whose hard work and dedication helped to make the Travelers Championship so successful. At a time when the public’s need for services offered by these charities couldn’t be greater, we felt it was right for Travelers to make an additional contribution. Reaching the $1 million donation amount is a great milestone, and we look forward to the tournament building on this success in 2010.”

Located in Ashford, Conn., The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp is a residential summer camp and year-round center designed to serve children and families coping with cancer and other serious illnesses. At the Camp, youngsters with diagnoses including cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS and hemophilia have the time of their lives, while participating in boating, crafts, swimming, performing arts and more. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp offers additional programs in the off-season for campers, their families and healthcare professionals. The organization serves 15,000 children each year with more than half of the children coming from low-income backgrounds and all of the Camp’s services are provided free of charge.

“We are truly grateful to have the Travelers Championship partner with us again this year. We simply could not accomplish as much as we do for these children without the support of the tournament, the public awareness it builds for our cause, and the generosity of the sponsors and public that support its incredible success,” said J. Michael “Mike” Smiles, chief development officer of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. “In addition, the event once again has provided our Camp increased visibility and awareness thanks to excellent media opportunities provided by the tournament.”

The Greater Hartford Jaycees is a membership organization for 21 – 41 year olds with a mission of leadership development through community service. Members of the Greater Hartford Jaycees are regularly seen in the community building playgrounds, delivering Thanksgiving turkeys to those in need, distributing Easter baskets to underprivileged children and facilitating youth leadership programs for high school students. In addition, the Greater Hartford Jaycees annually distributes thousands of dollars in scholarships and grants throughout the region.

“The Greater Hartford Jaycees is grateful to the thousands of fans, sponsors and volunteers who were part of the 2009 Travelers Championship, all of whom played a direct role in generating this donation,” said Kimberly Nordquist, president of the Greater Hartford Jaycees. “Through our involvement with the Travelers Championship, members of the Jaycees are able to develop leadership skills by organizing volunteers. With this donation, the organization will positively impact the community through scholarships for young people, grants for various charitable organizations and important community programming, such as Thanksgiving food baskets for those in need.”

More than 130 additional Connecticut charities were beneficiaries of the 2009 Travelers Championship through hundreds of thousands of dollars raised in the Birdies for Charity pledge-based fundraiser and the Chip In for Charity ticket sales fundraiser. Additionally, the Travelers Championship found new ways to raise awareness and funds through events like the Blum Shapiro 5K for Charity, Women’s Day and the HYPE networking event during tournament week.

For the second consecutive year, J.H. Cohn LLP was the presenting sponsor of Birdies for Charity, by supporting administration of the program and contributing to a bonus fund for the charities that raised the most money.

“J.H. Cohn LLP is proud to continue their partnership of this great community event. The Travelers Championship’s mission of giving back to Connecticut is complementary to our firm’s values,” said Frank Longobardi, managing partner for J.H. Cohn LLP. “Our firm is committed to supporting Birdies for Charity by providing all administrative support and Birdies Bonus Bucks again in 2010. We urge all Connecticut nonprofits to explore this program and hope to see the funds raised continue to grow each year.”

J.H. Cohn LLP presented checks to the top 10 charities of the Birdies for Charity program. The Farmington Valley Chorus of Sweet Adelines International raised $15,069 for their organization and received an additional $5,000 from J.H. Cohn LLP for finishing as the top charity in 2009.

Preparation has already begun for the 2010 Travelers Championship, which will be held June 21 – 27 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn. In addition to generating charitable contributions for its two designated charities, the Travelers Championship offers special programs so that all nonprofit organizations in the state can utilize the event as an easy, effective fundraiser.

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