Ponte Vedra, United States: The catastrophic destruction left by Typhoon Hagibis will continue for years to come in Japan. Nearly 100 people were killed by the historic cyclone, which resulted in more than 85,000 homes damaged, thousands of hectares flooded and countless landslides created in its wake.
The ZOZO Championship did its best to provide support to those affected by the typhoon in December, and it made a US$225,000 donation that was channelled toward each Cash Distribution Committee of the affected prefectures and Tokyo Metropolitan Government through the Japanese Red Cross Society.
Backed by the aid provided by Japan’s first official PGA Tour tournament, the Tour has announced that it and its tournaments have surpassed US$3 billion in all-time charitable giving.
The charitable total, which included a record US$204.3 million in 2019 to bring the all-time total to US$3.05 billion, includes donations made by tournaments on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Champions, Korn Ferry Tour, Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada, PGA Tour Latinoamérica and PGA Tour Series-China.
“It’s truly a pleasure to thank our fans, sponsors, tournaments, players and volunteers for helping us generate over US$3 billion for charity and positively impact millions of lives,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan. “As remarkable as this milestone is, what really matters are the countless stories (of impact) that every tournament has. Together, we look forward to continuing to reach – and celebrate – millions more.”
In addition to focusing on relief and recovery efforts in Japan, the ZOZO Championship also donated US$25,000 to First Tee Japan for use toward its initiatives. The organisation’s mission is to impact the lives of young people by providing educational programmes that build character, instil life-enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf.
Megumi Hatakeyama, Vice President, Marketing Department, Golf Division, ZOZO Inc, said: “We are delighted to provide financial assistance towards the affected people through the Japanese Red Cross Society which not only collects and transfers the cash grants to each Cash Distribution Committee of the affected local government, but also operates various type of disaster relief activities by themselves across the country. The amazing work that their staff and volunteers do brings tremendous relief for the people of Japan who were affected by the recent typhoons.
“It is also our privilege to extend our support towards First Tee Japan. Golf is an amazing sport as it teaches important life skills such as character education through programmes conducted by professionally trained life coaches. We hope our assistance will greatly benefit the young people of Japan who are part of First Tee Japan.”
The PGA Tour and its more than 100 tournaments across all Tours achieved the US$3 billion mark just six years after surpassing US$2 billion in 2014. The Tour achieved the US$1 billion mark in 2005. In addition, the record US$204.3 million in 2019 betters the previous record of US$190 million in 2018. The Tour’s first charitable donation of US$10,000 was at the 1938 Palm Beach Invitational.
Each PGA Tour tournament provides individuals an opportunity to give back to the community in one of three ways – attending an event, volunteering or donating money. Not-for-profit tournaments under the PGA Tour umbrella donate their net proceeds to support local organisations. The impact these tournaments make throughout the year is possible thanks to the more than 100,000 volunteers who commit their time to ensure each event is a success.