Marketing, PR & Advertising, Retail, and Sports Business

Meijer links up with LPGA again

Simply Give hunger relief initiative has generated $5.2M since partnership began six years ago.

September 6, 2019
Print
Text Size:
A A
LPGA Brooke Henderson
Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give renewed its agreement with the LPGA and Blythefield Country Club through 2021. Courtesy Meijer LPGA Classic

There will be continued donations in the Midwest, courtesy of one sporting event.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give renewed its agreement with the LPGA and Blythefield Country Club through 2021. The agreement allows for donations from the tournament to go toward stocking shelves of food pantries across the Midwest.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give has been incredibly successful thanks to its partnership with Blythefield Country Club,” said Cathy Cooper, Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give executive director. “The tournament is well established now in its sixth year, and the fans and players have come to expect a fantastic tournament week.”

Since the partnership, the six tournaments have collectively generated $5.2 million for the Simply Give program through ticket sales and in-store donations, according to Cooper.

The multiday LPGA event features 144 professional women golfers who play 72 holes at Blythefield Country Club annually. The number of visitors and donations have increased each year.

“The 2019 tournament surpassed its goal and drew an estimated 56,000 attendees,” Cooper said.

The golfers rarely contribute monetarily to the program. However, Cooper said the 2018 champion, So Yeon Ryu, donated $100,000 from her $300,000 winnings to the Simply Give program. 

The Simply Give program started 11 years ago, and it has generated $50 million to help feed families. 

“The program is primarily driven by in-store customer donations, food pantry engagement, and contributions through corporate and the Meijer LPGA Classic,” Cooper said. “The Meijer Simply Give program has a network of roughly 400 food pantries across the Midwest that it supports. During each Simply Give campaign, each of the 246 Meijer stores selects a local food pantry to partner with for that campaign. They rotate partners throughout the year.

“All the money raised at that store will go to its food pantry partner during that campaign. The amount generated at each store is dependent on its customer and food pantry participation. Meijer donations to the Simply Give program are divided equally among each campaign’s participants.”

The food pantries are recommended by Meijer store directors who work with the community to identify ones that are associated with the nonprofit organization Feeding America. The recommendations are reviewed and approved by the Meijer donations team, Cooper said. 

The Business Journal previously reported that Rockford-based North Kent Connect, a Christian organization that aims to provide access to basic needs, was a beneficiary of the program.

“Because of the Meijer Simply Give program, we can ease the burden on our working families and seniors,” said Claire Guisfredi, executive director of North Kent Connect. “We can provide healthy, wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables so our clients and children can get the proper nutrition they need to succeed in school and in life.”

By the numbers

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

2019

Attendance: 56,000
Donation: $1.1 million

2018

Attendance: 55,000
Donation: $1.1 million

2017

Attendance: Over 50,000
Donation: $1 million

2016

Attendance: Over 50,000
Donation: $850,000

2015

Attendance: Nearly 50,000
Donation: $750,000

2014

Attendance: Over 40,000
Donation: $550,000

Recent Articles by Danielle Nelson

Editor's Picks

Comments powered by Disqus