The winner of the Principal Charity Classic will leave Des Moines $260,000 richer. Long after the players leave, local charities will continue to benefit from the tournament.
“The Principal Charity Classic’s most important element is charity,” said Mary O’Keefe, the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for the Principal Financial Group.
The word charity was on the caddy bibs, scoreboards, and flags.
It sounds like a nice idea, but what does charity have to do with a golf tournament?
Megan Christofferson, a mother of five has seen the impact of the Principal Charity Classic firsthand. Two of her boys, Griffin and Carsten both receive speech and occupational therapy through ChildServe, a local non-profit that helps children with special health needs.
“Carsten has been going to ChildServe for almost seven years now and Griffin has been going for two,” said Christofferson.
Proceeds from the tournament have gone to purchasing iPads helping their young minds develop.
“It helps them be more like their peers, helps them learn better in school, and makes them more functionally independent,” Christofferson told Channel 13 News.
Adaptive technology isn’t the only way ChildServe and the families it works with benefits from the tournament. “We use this for going to medical appointments and fun stuff in the community like a trip to the zoo,” said Erin Hurley, communications director for ChildServe.
The coach bus is used to transport children to everything from medical appointments to trips to the zoo.
“It means they can get out and benefit from the community,” said Hurley.
Fans were treated to world class golf this week, but a draw off the first tee wasn’t the best drive.
“It (the coach van) allows our kids mobility and the ability to travel together,” said Hurley.
The biggest winners didn’t swing a club. “It’s great to have corporate support for our kids,” said Christofferson.
The tournament and its sponsors also work with the United Way, Bravo of Greater Des Moines, the Community Foundation, and Blank Children’s Hospital.
In 2013, it raised more than $1 million for local charities. The Principal Charity Classic has raised more money than any other Champion’s Tour event for the past three years.