MOLINE, Ill. -- For the second consecutive year and the third time overall, the PGA Tour has presented the John Deere Classic with its Most Engaged Community Award for the 2012 event at TPC Deere Run.
In announcing the award last week at the PGA Tour's Tournament Meetings in California, Tour executive vice-president and operations chief Andy Pazder noted a number of the tournament's 2012 initiatives and accomplishments:
• A 12 percent increase in ticket sales
• A 27 percent increase in Birdies for Charity donations;
• A tournament-record charity contribution of $6.79 million to 493 local charities from more than 20,000 individual donors throughout the community;
• A highly effective volunteer recognition program in which "Community Heroes" ads ran monthly in local newspapers - which helped attract 260 new volunteers in 2012.
"The tournament committee should be extremely proud of being recognized as the best among its peers on the TOUR," Pazder said.
John Deere Classic tournament director Clair Peterson expressed the event's appreciation for the award.
"The John Deere Classic is very proud to receive the 2012 Most Engaged Community award for the second consecutive year and the third time in the last several years," Peterson said. "The 20,000 people and the 493 organizations represented in the Birdies for Charity program work the grassroots, get people involved, get donors involved. Their involvement and the financial success of the tournament enabled us to give each charity an eight percent bonus on top of the Birdies for Charity pledges collected. That's the key to our integrated community and something we are very proud of."
The John Deere Classic also received the "Most Engaged Community" award in 2011 and in 2008.
Zach Johnson won the 2012 John Deere Classic with a birdie on the second hole of a sudden death playoff. A former Masters champion and nine-time PGA TOUR winner, Johnson also serves on the tournament's executive board. The 2013 John Deere Classic is set for July 8-14 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Ill.
The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois. Since 1993, the tournament has helped raise $42.29 million for charity.
Kristy Ketcham Jackson
Director, Birdies for Charity