John Deere Classic Birdies for Charity Program Kicks Off 2019 Fundraising Drive
Lexus of the Quad Cities to Provide 2019 Lexus NX to a Lucky Winner
The John Deere Classic’s Birdies for Charity program on Monday officially kicked off its annual drive to help raise donations for more than 500 Quad City area charities.
“We are excited to kick off the annual John Deere Classic charity miracle in which the PGA TOUR’s smallest market consistently produces one of the largest charity totals among the PGA TOUR’s 48 tournaments,” said John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson at John Deere World Headquarters.
Last year, the John Deere Classic helped raise a tournament record $13.45 million for 534 charities, ranking it among the top three events in charitable donations on the Tour. The Quad Cities tournament has helped raise $107 million since the event started 49 years ago, 99 percent of which has come since Deere assumed title sponsorship in 1998.
The Birdies program consists of individual charity pledges based on the number of birdies recorded in the tournament as well as lump sum donations to specific charities.
A Bonus Fund consisting of tournament profits and a $325,000 matching donation from the John Deere Foundation is distributed proportionately to each charity, with a minimum five percent guarantee. In 2018, the match was 8.2 percent.
John Deere underwrites all administrative expenses for the Birdies program, making it possible for 100 percent of every donation – plus the bonus - to go to the donor’s designated charity.
“The John Deere Classic Birdies for Charity Program continues to be an extremely powerful and cost-effective way for non-profit organizations to maximize their fundraising efforts," said Kristy Ketcham Jackson, director of the Birdies program.
As an incentive to attract charity donations, Lexus of the Quad Cities again has generously agreed to provide a two-year lease of a 2019 Lexus NX to one donor who correctly guesses the exact number of birdies recorded at this year’s John Deere Classic, July 8-14, at TPC Deere Run in Silvis.
Lexus of the Quad Cities also will continue to furnish courtesy cars to John Deere Classic contestants during the week of the tournament.
“We are pleased to have Lexus of the Quad Cities return as our automotive partner again this year,” Peterson said. “The free two-year lease offer provides a tremendous incentive for people to donate. And we know the pros love driving a Lexus during tournament week.”
Following the news conference, charity representatives were able to pick up fundraising materials at the John Deere Headquarters display floor. Materials also will be available at other locations in and around the Quad Cities, including Lexus of the Quad Cities dealership, 101 W. Kimberly Road, in Davenport. Pledge Card Pickup details can be found at www.birdiesforcharity.com.
In 2018, the tournament's 19th year at TPC Deere Run, 2,355 birdies were recorded during the four-day tournament and the Wednesday pro-am, meaning that a donor who pledged one cent per birdie to a charity would contribute $23.55 to their respective charities. Many individuals and businesses donate to more than one charity, or donate larger lump-sum amounts as a charity Partner.
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 in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $107 million for charity, more than 99 percent of the total coming since John Deere took over the title sponsorship in 1998.