The Honda Classic to Distribute a Near Record $5.1 Million to Local Charities Despite the Challenges of the Pandemic
The Honda Classic is awarding $5.1 million to 100 South Florida philanthropic organizations in 2021, a number that approaches tournament record levels despite the widespread impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The $5.1 million distribution during Honda Classic Cares Week (June 7-10) will impact the lives of more than 100,000 children and provide a much-needed boost to South Florida community charities that faced their own fiscal challenges in a tough year.
The Honda Classic has now surpassed $55 million in charitable contributions as American Honda approaches its 41st year as title sponsor of the PGA TOUR event, including almost $40 million in the 15 years since Children’s Healthcare Charity, Inc. became the host organization and moved the event to PGA National Resort and Spa.
The $5.1 million was just $250,000 below the record distribution of $5.35 million of 2020 and equaled the distribution in 2019. The support of the local community and sponsors combined with rigorous cost management by the tournament team made it happen.
“The Honda Classic is a community event and the local fans and businesses along with our long-standing sponsors stepped up this year to show their support of our tournament,” Honda Classic Executive Director Kenneth R. Kennerly said. “Together we stared down the challenges we faced and came real close to achieving another record for a 15th consecutive year. We look forward to setting new records for the benefit of the community in 2022 and continuing to produce one of the premier events in tournament golf.”
The 2021 charity distribution includes a grant of $1.2 million to the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, the sixth-consecutive year the Foundation has received more than $1 million from Honda Classic Cares. The Foundation, the primary beneficiary of The Honda Classic, has now surpassed the $10 million mark in distributions from the tournament. A large portion of the money has gone toward a partnership created between Nicklaus Children’s Hospital and Jupiter Medical Center to bring world class care to children and families in Palm Beach County. Nicklaus Children’s doctors and nurses care for children in the inpatient unit, the pediatric emergency unit and a Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“That’s fantastic,” Jack Nicklaus said. “The money will go to improving and saving the lives of many children. Honda is not only the longest-running title sponsor on the PGA TOUR, they have been a great friend to our foundation. We are all greatly appreciative of everything that The Honda Classic does, year after year.”
“The Honda Classic moving to Palm Beach County was the catalyst for Jack and me to start the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation,” Barbara Nicklaus said. “We are so proud of the relationship that has only grown with time. The more than $1 million donated in each of the last six years has impacted a lot of families through the Foundation and will continue to do so.”
Portions of the $5.1M raised this year will also be distributed to organizations specializing in child health services, youth programs, food security, conservation, the arts and mentoring. Organizations that are being supported through grants from Honda Classic Cares include Glades area charities, ARC of Palm Beach County, Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, First Tee of Florida Golf Coast, and Inner City Youth Golf.
The 2021 Honda Classic was re-imagined to promote safety last March from socially-distanced spectator venues to touchless food and beverage locations. Attendance was capped at 10,000 per day, roughly 20% of the normal capacity.
But many sponsors remained loyal or offered donations in lieu of their sponsorship. Stakeholders led by title sponsor American Honda and Founders Club partner Tire Kingdom along with Florida Power & Light, Constellation Brands, LOCALiQ, Lilly Pulitzer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, and Goslings Rum helped the tournament build its charitable distribution.
“This year might be our greatest accomplishment from a charity perspective,” Kennerly said. “We are very proud of what we have been able to achieve and couldn’t be more thankful to those who helped us make it happen. The work of Honda Classic Cares is equally important to us as the tournament itself because of the lives we are able to touch. ”
Honda Classic Cares Week will culminate June 10 with the tournament’s annual Celebration of Philanthropy at the Pelican Club. That’s where a drawing will take place for a new Honda HRV-Sport that will go to the winner of the Birdies for Children program, a vehicle for local charities to team up with The Honda Classic. Fans donate each year through their charity for the chance to guess the number of birdies in the tournament. A 5% matching contribution is applied to every donation courtesy of a partnership with LocalIQ. Sixty-six (66) entrants each correctly guessed the total of 1,345 birdies recorded at the 2021 Honda Classic. The field was pared via drawing to 18 individuals who will participate in the final drawing to determine the winner of a new Honda vehicle.
“While the tournament strives to provide Palm Beach County with a premier professional sporting event, our ultimate goal is to positively impact the youth in our community,” Kennerly said. “We see that goal realized during Honda Classic Cares Week.”
More information about The Honda Classic and Honda Classic Cares can be found at www.thehondaclassic.com.
The 2022 Honda Classic will move three weeks earlier in the PGA TOUR calendar to February 21-27 and once again kick off the TOUR’s Florida swing.