HARTFORD, Conn., Aug. 5, 2016 – The Bruce Edwards Foundation Benefit Dinner, held by the Travelers Championship, generated more than $1.1 million to support research in the fight against ALS. A total of 116 tables were sold at $10,000 each for the event at the Connecticut Convention Center. In addition, Bubba Watson donated $100,000 and Brian Gay contributed $10,000, which he won during the tournament’s closest to the pin competition at The Umbrella at 15 ½.
World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Watson, best-selling author John Feinstein and Travelers Executive Chairman of the Board Jay Fishman, who announced in August 2015 that he had been diagnosed with ALS, hosted the event. Other speakers included Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy, PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem and CBS Sports Anchor Jim Nantz. Attendees included dignitaries from Travelers, the Travelers Championship, the state of Connecticut and the PGA TOUR. Members of the Edwards family, golf fans and a number of TOUR players and caddies also participated in the event.
A native of Wethersfield, Connecticut, Bruce Edwards was a longtime friend and caddy of Tom Watson and actively worked on the PGA TOUR until a few months before his death from ALS. His career as a caddy, which began at the Travelers Championship when it was played at Wethersfield Country Club, and his relationship with Watson became the subject of a best-selling book, “Caddy for Life,” by Feinstein. After Edwards’ death, Feinstein and Watson founded the Bruce Edwards Foundation in his honor to help find a cure for ALS.
“To have this kind of event held in Bruce’s honor, raising money that will help us treat and hopefully beat ALS, is inspiring,” Watson said. “Bruce would be very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, coming together and putting the focus on finding a cure for such a terrible disease.”
“Anyone can understand why I feel responsible to be involved to find ways to make ALS patients lives more productive and to advance research initiatives,” Fishman said. “But to have so many others who have quickly offered their help and been so generous is something my family and I will always be grateful for – it’s been truly remarkable. Every year the Travelers Championship is committed to giving back as much as we can to the local charities and organizations that need our help. That’s what it’s all about.”
Throughout tournament week, a number of officials, players and caddies have worn red ribbons featuring the words “Carry On” – the phrase Watson and Edwards said to each other when they encountered difficult times on the golf course. It’s a mantra that the Travelers Championship has adopted and embraced in 2016.
“To see so many people wearing the ribbons this week has been incredibly uplifting,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube. “Anyone can make a difference, as we’re seeing tonight. The tournament stands behind Jay and all those who are battling ALS, and we’re humbled by the support the entire community has provided to make this dinner such an overwhelming success.”
About the Travelers Championship
The Travelers Championship, held in Cromwell, Connecticut, is one of the premier events on the PGA TOUR and part of the FedExCup series. The tournament proudly supports the PGA TOUR’s Tradition of Giving Back by donating 100 percent of net proceeds to charities. Travelers, a leading provider of property and casualty insurance for home, auto and business, is the Official Property Casualty Insurance Provider of the PGA TOUR. The company became the tournament’s title sponsor in 2007. Travelers has been doing business in the Hartford community for more than 160 years and has been a corporate sponsor of this event each year since its inception in 1952. Complete details are available at www.TravelersChampionship.com.