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John Deere Classic tournament officials announced that country music star Jake Owen will return to a Quad Cities stage for a concert this spring benefiting the PGA Tour event’s Birdies for Charity. Gathered inside Rhythm City Casino Resort near the gaming floor, JDC officials and corporate sponsors unveiled plans for a concert to be held Friday, April 19, at the Davenport casino. All proceeds from the concert will go to the Birdies for Charity Bonus Fund, which the JDC uses to finance bonus payments to the more than 480 charities that participate annually in the Birdies program. Tickets went on sale at 10 a.m. today at the casino and online here. Tournament Director Andrew Lehman excitedly told a crowd of 60 JDC board members, staff, community leaders and reporters that the Silvis PGA tournament has a long history of charity concerts, and the upcoming concert will help it fund more than 450 area charities. “Jake is extremely popular in our community, and we’re excited to be able to bring him here,” Mr. Lehman said. The country star first played before a JDC crowd in 2016, he said. According to Mr. Lehman, the more money collected for the Bonus Fund, the larger the bonus that Birdies for Charity can pay out to its charities. “With charities doing such a great job of raising money for their organizations, it’s incumbent upon us to make sure we support them with meaningful bonus payments,” he added. Last year, the nonprofit Birdies for Charity distributed $14.1 million – including a 7.5% bonus – to its participating charities. Part of the success was due to the JDC’s introduction of its Concerts on the Course, which expanded tournament interest beyond the regular legion of golf fans. The Jake Owen benefit concert is co-sponsored by Rhythm City Casino and Quad City Bank & Trust. During the news conference, Mo Hyder, regional vice president of Rhythm City, said “attendees will not only enjoy fantastic music but also contribute to a worthy cause. Proceeds from this event will directly benefit the Bonus Fund, ensuring that even more charities receive essential support.” He added that Rhythm City not only is excited for the upcoming benefit concert, “but we’re grateful for our partnership and relationship we have with the JDC team.” Laura “Divot” Ekizian, the president and chief relationship officer for QCBT, reminisced about when she served as the 2014 JDC volunteer chair and how at that time Birdies distributed a record $6.2 million to area charities. “Now we’re at $14 million-plus for charities just 10 years later. For a community our size to have a PGA Tour event is just unbelievable,” she said. “Those 480 charities are doing the heavy lifting in our community,” Ms. Ekizian said, adding that their work and the impact the JDC has on the region are why QCBT is a proud sponsor of the tournament. “We can’t wait to sing along with everyone else,” she quipped. Jake Owen burst onto the country music scene in 2006 and was named Top New Male Vocalist by the Academy of Country Music in 2008, the same year the ACM named his song “Down in the Honkytonk” Single of the Year. Since then, several other albums and singles have reached the Top 10 on the country music charts. The 53rd edition of the Quad Cities’ PGA Tour event will be conducted the week of July 3-7 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis with Sepp Straka as defending champion. The tournament will offer a $7.8 million purse. Since the Quad Cities tournament was founded in 1971, it has helped raise more than $174 million for charity.