Quad Cities-Based Jason's Box Named a Top-3 PGA TOUR Charity
Jason’s Box - a Moline-based charity founded in memory of a local soldier killed in Iraq – will receive a $5,000 donation from the PGA TOUR after it recently was named one of the TOUR’s top three charities for 2015.
The John Deere Classic nominated Jason’s Box to be considered as the TOUR’s Charity of the Year at the TOUR’s recent annual conference in Florida. More than 40 other PGA TOUR events also were invited to nominate charities.
“The John Deere Classic is thrilled that Jason’s Box has been recognized as one of the top three charities on the PGA TOUR,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson. “Founded by the mother of a Moline resident killed in the Iraq War, Jason’s Box is an inspiring idea carried out daily with love and respect for American troops deployed around the world and veterans here at home.”
Jason’s Box was founded by Teri Johnson, of Moline, in honor of her son, Army Cpl. Jason G. Pautsch, who was killed in action in Mosul, Iraq on April 10, 2009.
The charity sends custom care packages at no charge to any deployed military person who requests one. Each recipient may choose what is put in the box. According to the charity, if the box is not full, Jason’s Box makes sure that it is before shipping it.
The charity’s named derives from one of Johnson’s most cherished possessions: a walnut chest filled with items from her son’s military service that she refers to as “Jason’s Box.”
“This is the highest award that we have ever received,” Johnson said. “I am overwhelmed by the award and the generosity of the PGA TOUR. The TOUR and the John Deere Classic are two organizations that really are committed to helping our veterans. The award will help us continue our mission to help our soldiers and vets.”
On the home front, Jason’s Box works with local organizations to help U.S. troops and veterans. Some of these activities include coordinating education and training for healthcare providers, first responders, church leaders and the community on issues such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, suicide prevention and awareness, and military culture.
Jason’s Box recently established Patriot Place in Rock Island, the first veterans resource center in the Quad Cities. Patriot Place provides a safe meeting place, educational and recreational opportunities, life-coping skills, physical fitness and outdoor activities.
In 2011, another John Deere Classic-affiliated charity - the River Bend Food Bank, of Davenport, Iowa – won Charity of the Year honors from the TOUR.
The PGA Tour began its run in the Quad Cities in 1971. John Deere, whose world headquarters is in Moline, Ill., assumed title sponsorship of the tournament in 1998. The tournament moved to TPC Deere Run in 2000.
Having recently completed its 45th year, the tournament generated $8.73 million for its participating charities in 2015, ranking it first among regular PGA TOUR events overall in per capita contributions at $23.29 for each of the 375,000 residents of the Quad City area. The tournament’s charity contributions consistently rank among the top five overall on the PGA TOUR
The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since its founding in1971, the tournament has helped raise more than $70.18 million for charity.