The John Deere Classic is more than a pro golf tournament.
The local PGA Tour stop operates as a non-profit fundraising machine for other local charities. So, ticket sales, hospitality packages and sponsorships all benefit good causes in the area.
However, the biggest JDC fundraiser annually is the program called Birdies for Charity, where small donors for a certain charity guess the number of birdies pro golfers score at the June 29-July 3 tournament.
The closest guesses are awarded prizes. Nearly 500 local charities shared in $12.5 million in Birdies For Charity support last summer.
“None of that money is for the golfers,” said Pat Eikenberry, vice president of civil engineering for IMEG and the 2022 JDC volunteer chairperson.
“Everything that’s donated comes back to your charity of choice – and then some thanks to our bonus fund. Our board of directors and tournament staff works very hard to try and match anywhere from 5 to 10% of whatever the community donates,” he added.
The deadline to enter the contest portion of the program is Friday, June 10.
This year’s grand prize is a two-year lease on a Lexus RX350, provided by Smart Lexus of the Quad Cities. Other prizes include a child-size Gator tractor provided by John Deere and tickets to next year’s JDC.
Pledges or online donations still are welcome until Friday, July 1, of tournament week – and still are eligible for the bonus pool match. But anything received after June 10 is not eligible for prizes.
Partner donations from businesses also are due to ensure recognition of those supporters on the tournament course.
“This tournament supports our community and that’s very healthy for everyone concerned, especially our businesses,” Mr. Eikenberry said.