$3 Million for Participating Charities in 2007


MOLINE, IL The John Deere Classic Birdies for Charity (BFC) program will attempt to raise $3 million on behalf of its participating charities in 2007, program leaders announced today.

"Our goal for 2007 is for the BFC program to raise $3 million for our 500 participating charities," said Kristy Ketcham, director of the BFC program. "Thanks to John Deere, which underwrites the Birdies program, we are able to give 100% of each donation directly to the donor's designated charity. And thanks to Buick, the person who guesses the exact number of birdies recorded this year will win a new Buick Enclave."

This year, the JDC will introduce the new Birdies for Charity Fund, which will provide an annual 10% bonus match to every charity that participates in the program. The BFC Fund will be made up of dollars from tournament revenues, individual donors and the support of corporations through a new "Charity Partner" Program.

"Through the BFC Fund, a charity that raises $5,000 through individual donations would receive a 10 percent bonus of $500," Ketcham said.

The announcement will be made officially at a news conference scheduled for 3pm Wed., April 4 at The Mark of the Quad Cities in Moline, where the organization will formally kick off the annual fundraising drive. Charities may pick up their fundraising materials at The Mark from 11am-5pm Wed.

Any charity wishing to participate in the Birdies program may sign up online at http://www.birdiesforcharity.com/. New participants are encouraged to attend an informational meeting to learn more about the fundraising program.

This year's BFC informational meeting schedule is as follows:
Moline 1 pm Wed, April 4 at The Mark of the Quad Cities

Dubuque 1 pm Tues, April 10 at Mt. St. Francis, 3390 Windsor Ave.

Galesburg 1 pm Fri, April 13 at Prarieland Hospice Foundation, 1640 N. Henderson St.

Rockford 11 am Thurs, April 12 at the Rockford Rescue Mission, 715 W. State St.

Iowa City 10 am Mon, April 9 at University of Iowa Community Credit Union, 825 Mormon Trek Blvd.

Sign-up for informational meetings also may be done online at http://www.birdiesforcharity.com/.
In 2006, the JDC raised a record $3.9 million for charity, with just under $3 million coming from the Birdies program, according to Ketcham.

Under the BFC program, individuals or corporations pledge a minimum of one cent per birdie made during the Wed. pro-am and all 4 tournament rounds of the JDC, including playoffs, to the charity or charities of the donors choice. At the conclusion of the tournament, the total number of birdies is calculated and the Birdies office sends invoices to donors. Donors remit their checks to the Birdies office, which then distributes 100% of the donations directly to the designated charities.

In 2006, the tournament's 6th year at the TPC at Deere Run, 1,974 birdies were recorded, meaning that someone who pledged 1 cent per birdie to a charity would contribute $19.74 to that charity. Many contributors donate to more than 1 charity.

As noted above, Buick will give away a new Buick Enclave to the person who correctly guesses the exact number of birdies made during the tournament. If more than 1 person guesses the correct number, a random drawing will be held to decide the winner. Buick is the Official Vehicle of the JDC and is the Official Car of the PGA Tour.

In 2006, Ed Irwin of Bettendorf, IA won the grand prize, a Buick Lucerne.

Founded in 1993, the JDC Birdies for Charity is a 501(c)3, which has helped raise $12 million since its inception.

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