While the amount distributed from this year’s Price Cutter Charity Championship was down 13% from 2019, officials with the annual golf tournament still presented roughly $830,000 to 48 participating children’s charities in the Ozarks.
The tally was announced Dec. 1 during the Celebration of Sharing ceremony hosted by the McQueary family at Highland Springs Country Club. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the total dropped by over $120,000 from $952,000 distributed to 49 charities in 2019.
“Overall, we’re giving less than we did last year, but we’re thrilled about the amount that we’re able to give,” said PCCC Executive Director Jerald Andrews, noting the event had to overcome challenges – including no spectators.
The 31st annual tournament, held July 23-26 at Highland Springs, recorded gross cash income of just over $2 million – a 20% drop from $2.5 million in 2019, Andrews said. However, the lack of spectators and fewer volunteers also contributed to less money being spent to put on the PGA-sanctioned Korn Ferry Tour event, he said.
“A lot of our expenses were cut and the tour helped us a bit more with some of our expenses this year as well,” Andrews said. “That’s how we were able to finish and give the money away.”
Event expenses were around $854,000, down 43% from last year’s $1.5 million, he said. A significant portion of the savings is attributed to the Korn Ferry Tour, which funded the entirety of the tourney’s $650,000 purse money. Andrews said the PCCC typically pays half of the purse.
After the $830,356 distribution, the PCCC has a bit over $300,000 in this year’s event profits that officials are banking as a failsafe next year.
“We’re hedging our bets a bit for 2021,” Andrews said. “We’ve never been in a position to hold onto that much money before and our board felt it was important that we keep as much as we could in the bank.”
After the tournament initially received approval in June to be the first Korn Ferry Tour event to permit fans, PGA Tour officials reversed the decision a couple of weeks prior to its start.
Local organizers were concerned sponsors might pull out of the event when spectators were no longer allowed. However, Andrews said less than 10 sponsors asked for a refund. The tournament ended up with more than 450 sponsors, only down slightly from its typical sponsorship tally of around 500, he said.
“I can’t commend the sponsors enough for standing with the tournament when we didn’t have spectators,” Andrews said.
Nonprofit donations from PCCC have generally ranged $900,000-$950,000 in recent years, according to Springfield Business Journal archives.
Participating nonprofits must invest at least $5,000 to cover a number of upfront tournament costs, according to past reporting. The nonprofits are then refunded the money at the Celebration of Sharing event. Charities can participate in several ways, such as becoming a hole sponsor, helping run a charity auction or advertising in promotional materials. They also can sell raffle tickets and keep 100% of those proceeds.
Checks are presented in December with amounts based on the nonprofit’s initial investment, totals earned by raffle ticket sales or supplying auction items, and a return on their tournament investment, generally ranging 2%-10%, according to past reporting.
This year’s top five donation amounts are $70,672 to Children’s Smile Center; $59,997 to Fellowship of Christian Athletes; $54,384 to Silver Dollar City Foundation; $49,441 to Chances of Stone County; and $46,861 to Legal Services of Southern Missouri.
“Of course, it’s so important to them because as you can understand so many of the charities have not been able to do their own fundraising this year or a number of their events were cut back,” Andrews said. “It made the tournament that much more important to them.”
Children’s Smile Center Executive Director Jackie Barger said 2020 marked the second straight year for record-setting raffle ticket sales by the nonprofit. It sold 480 tickets that equated to around $12,200 for the Smile Center, up from 466 tickets in 2019. The nonprofit has taken part in the PCCC for the past 11 years.
“We have been participating in the raffle program in a very big way for every year we’ve been involved in the event,” he said. “I’m not doing my job unless we have a goal of selling 500 tickets next year.”
Barger said the nonprofit received around $76,000 from PCCC last year and used $5,000 to sponsor the Children’s Smile Center Poker Run Golf Classic, a PCCC fundraiser held in October.
Event sponsorships for the nonprofit were around $47,000 this year, Barger said, noting PCCC and the Hot Air Balloon Glow, held annually at Finley River Park in Ozark, are its largest fundraisers. The 14th annual hot air balloon event raised around $30,000 in August.
“Those two events are pretty much what we hang our hat on,” he said.
Andrews, who also is executive director of the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, said continuing to hold PCCC’s full roster of pro-am tournaments at area golf courses boosted the tournament’s bottom line by roughly $522,000.
“That’s a big niche item for us,” he said.
Andrews said plans are in motion for the 2021 tournament, set for July 22-25 at Highland Springs. Organizers hope a vaccine will ease complications brought on this year by the pandemic.
“The one thing we know is that we don’t know. … There’s just a lot of unknowns out there,” he said. “We obviously hope we’ll have spectators back next year and have a much more normal event, whatever normal is at that time.”
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