Wednesday’s star-studded BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am raised more than £150,000 for the tournament’s Official Charity, Shooting Star CHASE, and Children in Need thanks to the generosity of European Tour Members and the amateurs.
The traditional curtain-raiser to The European Tour’s flagship event produced a collective donation of £20,000 for local charity Shooting Star CHASE as each professional donated their appearance fee.
Other fundraising initiatives on the day included the players contributing to enter a ‘hit the green’ competition which featured prizes from Titleist, the Official Supplier of practice balls for the tournament.
Donations from the field of amateurs, which included many stars from the worlds of sport and entertainment, bolstered the hugely impressive total, but the majority of the sum was made up from an auction on BBC Radio 2 last year.
Ryder Cup star Graeme McDowell teamed up with presenter and golf fan Chris Evans to offer one listener the prize of a lifetime – a spot alongside the 2010 US Open Champion in the BMW PGA Championship Pro-Am, plus tickets to the final day for the 18th green VIP Championship Pavilion. The winning bid was an extremely generous £126,500 which went to Children in Need.
The event’s Official Charity, Shooting Star CHASE, has its head office in nearby Weybridge and two children’s hospices within 20 miles of Wentworth, in Hampton and Guildford. It supports families with a child or teenager not expected to reach their 19th birthday and helps more than 600 families in West London, Surrey and West Sussex, providing free care 365 days a year within homes and communities and in their two hospices.
The appointment of Shooting Star CHASE was led by the Tour Players’ Foundation (TPF) board of Trustees who look to support charities local to venues of European Tour’s events and offer the opportunity of ‘changing children’s lives through golf’.
On Tuesday the European Tour Wives Association visited the charity to see first-hand the benefits of fundraising at the BMW PGA Championship.
During the four days of the Championship, spectators will be asked to give a donation in return for the Official Programme.