The two Official Charities for the 2012 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open will benefit from an equal share of £30,404 thanks to the players and fans during last week’s event at Castle Stuart Golf Links.
Children’s Hospice Association of Scotland (CHAS) and Befrienders Highland were supported through two initiatives surrounding the Championship near Inverness.
Firstly, the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open Birdie Pledge saw funds donated by both Aberdeen and the charitable arm of the European Tour, The Tour Players Foundation (TPF), for each birdie, eagle and albatross made by the players on course - a total of £10, £20 and £50 respectively.
The outstanding low scoring in evidence over the week, with 1873 birdies, the last of which was the superb birdie made by India’s Jeev Milkha Singh at the first play-off hole to seal victory over Francesco Molinari, and 22 eagles recorded helping swell the funds donated through the Birdie Pledge to almost £20,000.
The Birdie Pledge total was also bolstered by the holes-in-one of Peter Whiteford and Andrew Johnston as Aberdeen and the TPF made special to contributions of a further £168 for each – £1 for each yard of the 11th hole.
Secondly, the spectating public played their part in supporting both charities when they received an Official Drawsheet by making discretionary donation of £1. The donations from the public added in excess of £10,000 to the ‘Grand Total’ that will enable the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open to have a positive charitable impact on the Inverness and Highland region.
First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond said: “This year's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open has been a great success, providing a great golf, and tense final day of play and showcasing this stunning part of the Highlands to golfers and tourists right across the world. I'm particularly pleased that, through the commitment of Aberdeen Asset Management and the Tour Players' Foundation to the Birdie Pledge, and thanks to the generosity of spectators, this fantastic competition has also raised such a considerable sum of money to benefit the vital local work of two charities.”
Children's Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) Fundraiser Hannah Archibald said: “A huge thank you to Aberdeen Asset Management, The European Tour and everyone who has contributed to this fantastic amount. The money will go towards our CHAS at Home service in the Highlands which is based from our Inverness office and offers care to families when they need extra help at home outwith their visits to our hospices. £15,000 pays for almost a month of 24 hour one to one nursing care for a family. The visits provide practical help and support that can be a lifeline to families.”
David Stallard, Convenor and Director, Befrienders Highland, said: “This will have a huge impact. It will fund 100 friendships for a year. For each one of these friendships this will mean 50 or so meetings, outings, phone calls, letters and other contacts which will truly change lives. Words can hardly express how grateful we are to Aberdeen Asset Management, The European Tour, and to all the individual spectators who contributed to the charity collections at the event. The golfers who scored the birdies, eagles and holes-in one which triggered the funding pledges deserve special mention too. We sincerely thank everyone involved.”
Sam Walker, Head of Public Affairs at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: “We were delighted CHAS and Befrienders Highland accepted our invitation to be the tournament's Official Charities. It has been a pleasure working with the volunteers, clients and staff from both organisations and to have raised over ￡30,000 for them is the icing on the cake.”
European Tour Charity Executive, David Park added: “The mutual goal of the Tour Players’ Foundation and Aberdeen was for the Championship to give back to the local and Highland area, we are extremely glad that the fundraising was so successful, we commend the spectators for their generosity and the players for their excellent play over the four days.”