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LPGA tournament raises $750K for hunger relief
A professional golf tournament raised more than $750,000 for a local retailer’s nonprofit.
Last weekend’s Meijer LPGA Classic at Blythefield Country Club raised $750,000 for the Meijer Simply Give program, which helps supply Midwest food pantries.
“Thanks to the great weather and enthusiastic crowds, the secondannual Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft was a complete success and will continue improving the quality of life in the Midwest,” Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said.
“Everyone who has supported thetournament has helped make a difference because this week was about more than world-class golf. It was an opportunity for the entire community to come together to have fun while supporting a very important cause — feeding the hungry.”
Attendance figures have not been released yet, but tournament officials said the turnout was larger than last year.
The money raised will be spread among Simply Give’s more than 200 food pantry partners through Sept. 12.
Simply Give has donated more than $16 million since it was founded in 2008.
“We receive about two-third of our funding for food purchases throughthe Meijer Simply Give program,” said Mark Tallis, of the Holt Community Food Bank. “We appreciate Meijer for having the Simply Give program because it gives us the ability to help our families with more food and keep them stable so that the children in our community are not going hungry.”
The full field of 144 golfers played July 23-26 for 72 holes of stroke play.
American Lexi Thompson won the tournament, firing a 65 in the final round.
The 20-year-old from Florida finished at -18 for the tournament to earn $300,000.
The tournament was Thompson’s fifth LPGA tour victory.
“I knew I had to make birdies against everybody in the field basicallywith Lizette (Salas) and then Gerina (Piller) behind me, so I knew I had to make a lot of birdies out there and it’s always nice to start off with one,” Thompson said.
During this year’s tournament, future dates for the Meijer LPGA Classic were announced.
In 2016 and 2017, the tournament will be held on Father’s Day weekend, June 12-19, 2016, and June 12-18, 2017, at Blythefield. Future proceeds also will head to the Simply Give program.
Last year, the inaugural tournament sent more than $600,000 to the program.