Surrey charity Challengers, which provides play and leisure for disabled children and young people, today received a cheque for £75,000 following a series of fund raising initiatives in their role as Official Charity to the BMW PGA Championship 2014.
Cathy Chapman, a founding Trustee of the Tour Players Foundation (TPF), the charitable arm of The European Tour, and BMW PGA Championship Director, Jamie Birkmyre were present at the charity’s Guildford Centre to hand over the cheque.
Challengers benefitted from the fundraising at Wentworth Club for the duration of the Championship in May. The initiatives started with funds being raised by the professionals and amateurs competing in the Celebrity Pro-Am, each professional donating his Pro-Am appearance fee to the Official Charity along with the amateurs’ donations for participating in the ‘Hit the Green’ competition on the 14th hole.
Over the six official days of the Championship, funds were also raised courtesy of generous donations from the spectators in exchange for the Official Programme, which was distributed by Challengers volunteers at various points across the Championship site for a recommended minimum donation of £1 per programme.
Fun activities and special products within the spectacular Championship Village also raised significant funds for Challengers with the BMW PGA Championship 60th Anniversary Mega Putt Challenge leading the interactive fundraising.
A further fundraiser was the HSBC Road Hole Bunker Challenge, which saw funds donated by Championship Sponsor, HSBC for each bunker shot holed. The TPF also matched those donations to further increase the overall total.
Official Clothing Supplier, HUGO BOSS, sold an exclusive, limited edition polo shirt in collaboration with BOSS Golfing Ambassador, Henrik Stenson, within their mobile store with 10% of each purchase being donated to Challengers.
Challengers Head of Fundraising, Jessica Oliver, said: “We could never have imagined just how big this opportunity could be for Challengers to both raise funds and the profile of our work. We would like to thank all the spectators and professionals for being so generous and helping us to far exceed our expectations of this opportunity. In particular, this was made possible by the 80 plus volunteers and golf enthusiasts, who gave almost 500 collective hours of their time to help us achieve this success.”
Challengers Chief Executive, Laura Sercombe, added: “We are just thrilled by the amazing amount raised for Challengers at the BMW PGA Championship 2014. It surpassed all our expectations and we can't thank everyone enough. As a local charity, opportunities like the Championship don't come along very often, and the chance to tell so many people about Challengers, and the difference we make for disabled children and their families was simply invaluable.”
The European Tour’s representatives not only officially presented the cheque for the funds raised to Challengers at their Guildford Centre they also saw first-hand how the funds are being used for Challengers Summer Holiday Play, Youth and Young Adults schemes to specifically provide care for disabled children and young people who need 2:1 support – two Play or Youth workers – to assist with their medical or personal needs in order for them to enjoy leisure.
Cathy Chapman, TPF Trustee and wife of leading European Senior Tour champion, Roger, said: “The Trustees try to take into consideration the locality of a charity for the BMW PGA Championship and to provide an opportunity to assist children in some way. Challengers fitted the bill in every way and we are thrilled to be able to present such a worthy organisation with this cheque for £75,000”.
Jamie Birkmyre, BMW PGA Championship Director, added: “Over the past few years, the BMW PGA Championship has helped raise significant funds for a number of charities in the counties close to Wentworth. Thanks to the combined generosity of the players – professional and amateur – and the general public, we are delighted to know that the youngsters attending the Challengers Centres will benefit considerably from the Championship.”
Challengers schemes will help hundreds of disabled children and young people to have fantastic fun this summer and give their families a much-needed short-break. To find out more about Challengers and the work they do, please visit www.disability-challengers.org
The BMW PGA Championship 2015 will offer six days of high quality entertainment, including Official Practice Day, Celebrity Pro-Am and four rounds of compelling competition from May 22-24. Tickets for next year’s event, which sees World Number One and double Major Champion from 2014, Rory McIlroy, defend his title, are available on the European Tour website: www.europeantour.com\tickets