Golf News for Tuesday, September 24, 2013 | Charity

Sun International signs deal to stage Gary Player Invitational

JOHANNESBURG -- Sun International has announced a three-year deal with Black Knight International to stage Africa's premier charity golf event, the Gary Player Invitational presented by Coca-Cola, which takes place at the Lost City Golf Course and The Palace Hotel from the 14th to the 17th November 2013.

"We are delighted to partner with Black Knight International and The Player Foundation in this prestigious golf charity event," said Mike van Vuuren, managing executive of Sun City. "We have a longstanding relationship with Gary Player and it feels only right for us to collaborate together in this philanthropic endeavour."

The title sponsor of the Gary Player Invitational (GPI), Coca-Cola, has also announced that it will be sponsoring the South African event for a 10th consecutive year now.

"We are proud to once again be associated with the GPI. We are in a unique position to help communities in remote villages and townships thrive by enabling them to earn a living collecting recyclable waste and growing trees. We want everyone to recycle more, waste less and help the planet," said Therese Gearhart, President of Coca-Cola Southern Africa.

Featuring teams of professional golfers paired with celebrities and leading businessmen, the GPI at Sun City will feature four days of golf, glamour and giving in this leg of the global charity series to make a difference in the lives of people worldwide in need.

"I am thrilled that Sun City will host the final leg of our global GPI series, which has experienced another record breaking fundraising year for The Player Foundation," said Tournament Host Gary Player, speaking at a media conference at the Coca Cola head office in Johannesburg today.

Following successful GPI events this year in Augusta and London, the next leg of the GPI series takes to Shanghai on November 4 and 5 before ending the year at Sun City's Lost City Country Club and The Palace Hotel with a star-studded line-up.

"Our Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, has raised an amazing R500 million for charities across the globe," said Marc Player, Black Knight International CEO. "We look forward to a successful event at Sun City to bring a brighter future to those in need."

Funds raised at the black-tie auction at The Palace of the Lost City on Friday 15 November, will be shared between the Wildlands Conservation Trust and Wings and Wishes as this year's selected charity beneficiaries for 2013 by The Player Foundation and Coca-Cola.

For more information on the event, visit and follow @GPInvitational on Twitter.


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Gary Player Invitational 2013 Series

United States - Georgia
Dates: 14-15 April 2013
Champions Retreat, Augusta

United Kingdom - England
Dates: 22 July 2013
Wentworth Golf Club, Surrey

China - Shanghai
Dates: 4-5 November 2013
Shanghai Links

South Africa
Dates: 14- 17 November 2013
The Lost City Golf Course, The Palace Hotel, Sun City

About The Player Foundation
The Player Foundation was established in 1983 by Marc Player. What began as an effort to provide education, nutrition, medical care and athletic activities, for a small community of disadvantaged children living on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa has now blossomed into an organization that circles the globe bringing aid to underprivileged children and impoverished communities.

The Foundation is funded primarily by four Gary Player Invitational events presented through Black Knight International. Pairing celebrities and professional golfers from the PGA and Champions Tours with businessmen and international sports figures, the annual tournaments are staged in the United States, China, Europe and South Africa. The proceeds of these tournaments and other special events provide funding for an ever- expanding number of institutions around the world, including the Blair Atholl Schools in South Africa, the Pleasant City Elementary School in Palm Beach, the Masizame in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa, and AIDS infected children in Baoshan, a drug-infested city located on the China-Burma border. Since its establishment, The Player Foundation has donated over $50 million dollars to the support of children's charities, the betterment of impoverished communities and the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the world.

Gary Player, acknowledged as a world class humanitarian, believes that the strength of our future depends upon the abilities of our children. "I have found that the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others does not thrust itself upon us," Player says, "But we do not need to look hard for it either. When you spot the chance to give back to the world, act on it. You will have made life better, for others, and for yourself."

The Gary Player Foundation is a non-profit 501 C (3) organization managed by Black Knight International in Palm Beach, Florida.

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, the world's most valuable brand, the company's portfolio features 15 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, Vitamin Water, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Globally, it is the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees, and juices and juice drinks. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy its beverages at a rate of 1.8 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, the company is focused on initiatives that reduce its environmental footprint and which support active, healthy living; as well as creating a safe, inclusive work environment for its associates; and enhancing the economic development of the communities where it operates. Together with its bottling partners, the company ranks among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700 000 system associates. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter at or visit our blog at


Wings and Wishes
Wings and Wishes was started by staff at the Coca-Cola Sabco bottling company in Port Elizabeth to collect air-miles to transport critically ill children to receive super-specialist medical care.

Wildlands Conservation Trust
The Wildlands Conservation Trust has networks in 35 communities transforming the lives of South African waste-preneurs and tree-preneurs who grow over 600 000 trees and hand-collect over 3 million kilograms of recycled waste annually. The waste and trees are bartered for bicycles, building materials and food as part of the Wildlands' vision to restore the ecosystems that underwrite the welfare of these communities.