As golfers were hitting the greens at the Travelers Championship on Saturday, others took a swing at helping the next generation.
Since 1952, the Travelers Championship has given $32-million dollars back to charity.
One of the organizations that benefits is the First Tee of Connecticut, an organization devoted to helping kids learn the game of golf, no matter their family’s financial status.
“It’s just really fun to come out here and play on the course with all of my friends and just hang out and have fun,” said program participant James Mullarkey.
“Golf, to me, is a way to learn about life. So, he gets to learn about life in First Tee,” added his father Jay.
First Tee gets great exposure at the Travelers Championship. Its headquarters sit right next to the practice greens.
“It allows us to tell the world what we do, how we do it, and how important it is for us to get the support of the community to make these programs for our kids affordable and accessible,” said David Polk, the First Tee of Connecticut executive director.
First Tee received the $10,000 Pro-Am purse on Wednesday. Saturday, $30,000 in scholarships were handed out by the organization to kids who might not otherwise be able to afford the program.
From the beginning, the Travelers Championship has been about giving back, donating 100-percent of the net proceeds to 140 different charities each year.
“Last year was $1.5 million and we’re on pace to break that record this year,” said Tournament Director, Nathan Grube.
Travelers’ premier charity, Hole in the Wall Gang camp, which serves 25,000 seriously ill children in the region, was also picked by the PGA in 2014 to be its national charity of the year. The grant that comes along with title will send 12 kids to camp.
“Events like this and organizations that support us are super important. All of our services are provided free of charge to the children and families we service,” said Beth Starkin, a spokesperson for Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.
Grube says non-profit organizations use the tournament to thank their donors, fundraise for free, and gain new exposure for their cause.