Smart Lexus of Quad Cities Donates 2-Year Lease to a Lucky Winner

MOLINE, Illinois (Oct. 31, 2023) – The 2023 John Deere Classic helped raise a record $14,102,833 million via its Birdies for Charity program and will pay a 7.5% bonus to its 478 participating charities, tournament officials announced Monday at the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline.

This year’s total exceeds by $194,165 the previous record of $13,908,668 set in 2022.

The total number of charity dollars raised by the tournament since it was founded in 1971 is $173,675,549 million, more than 99 percent of which has been raised since John Deere assumed title sponsorship in 1998.

“The John Deere Classic is thrilled not only to announce a charity total of more than $14 million but also that Birdies for Charity will pay a 7.5% bonus to our 478 participating charities,” said JDC tournament director Andrew Lehman.

“We are thankful to our John Deere, other corporate partners, individual donors and local family foundations for their ongoing generosity and support of Birdies for Charity,” Lehman said. “John Deere’s reputation for its commitment to corporate citizenship is widely known and the company’s support for the tournament and our charity is fundamental to their success.”

Meanwhile, the annual contest for a donor to guess the exact number of birdies recorded at the tournament and win a two-year lease on a car from the Grand Prize Sponsor, Smart Lexus of Quad Cities, produced one finalist, who correctly guessed 1,929 birdies. The Official Transportation Sponsor of the John Deere Classic, Smart Lexus of Quad Cities annually provides courtesy cars to John Deere Classic contestants.

The $14.1 million total works out to $37.60 for each of the Quad Cities’ 375,000 residents, again making the John Deere Classic the No. 1 in per capita contributions on the regular PGA TOUR, a distinction it has held for more than a decade.

The total amount donated to the charities is the result of a three-pronged fundraising effort:

  • The tournament’s Birdies for Charity program enables individuals, companies, and foundations to pledge a lump sum donation to a charity or charities of their choice.
  • Because John Deere underwrites the administrative costs of the Birdies program, 100 percent of each Birdies pledge collected goes directly to the designated charities to be used at their organization. They pay no administrative costs to Birdies for Charity.
  • The Bonus Fund consists of tournament revenues, direct donations, a John Deere matching grant, as well as proceeds from special events.

Sepp Straka, 30, shot 21-under par to win the 2023 John Deere Classic for his second PGA Tour victory. Subsequently, the native Austrian (and Georgia resident) was named to the European Ryder Cup team.

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 1971, the tournament has helped raise $174 million for charity.