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Costumes were the only thing missing Tuesday morning from the John Deere Classic’s special Halloween trick-or-treat party at the John Deere Pavilion in downtown Moline. Representatives from nearly 500 charities across the Quad Cities region were treated to PayDay and 100 Grand candy bars while picking up their checks from this year’s Birdies for Charity program. Even sweeter was finding out the fundraising total hit a record for a second straight year with $14,102,833 revealed on the BFC tote board and announced live on WQAD-TV during the program’s annual reveal party. However, perhaps the greatest trick of all was the 7.5% bonus paid above and beyond what those charities helped raise during this summer’s local PGA Tour stop at TPC Deere Run in Silvis. The bonus fund consists of JDC tournament revenues and proceeds from special events, as well as direct donations and a matching grant from tourney sponsor John Deere. “We hit so many high points this summer – from the Concerts on Course to (Iowa basketball star) Caitlin Clark opening a great week at our Pro-Am and Youth Clinic -- and these numbers reflect that,” John Deere Classic Tournament Director Andrew Lehman told the crowd gathered at the pavilion on the John Deere Commons. Country music stars Blake Shelton and Darius Rucker performed at the JDC’s first-ever post-play weekend concert series this summer. Shelton’s Sunday performance coincided with the JDC’s first-ever, single-day sellout of tickets. Mr. Lehman announced Tuesday, Oct. 31, that the concept was such a hit, John Deere has agreed to continue the concerts at least for the next three years, which coincides with the length of the sponsorship extension signed in May with the PGA Tour. “The pressure is on,” said Micaela Booth, director of the Birdies program. “The bar is so high now, but we’re working hard as a staff now to come up with an encore.” Already, BFC is the standard on the PGA Tour, with other tournaments utilizing the trademarked concept that has made the Classic the No. 1 tournament per capita for more than a decade now. The $14.1 million total works out to $37.60 for each of the Quad Cities’ 375,000 residents. This year’s $14.1 million total is nearly $200,000 more than what last year’s record-setting fundraiser netted. The total number of charity dollars raised by the tournament since it was founded in 1971 is $173,675,549 – more than 99% of which has been raised since John Deere assumed title sponsorship in 1998. The BFC program, which celebrated its 30th anniversary this summer, enables individuals, companies, and foundations to pledge a lump sum donation to a charity or charities of their choice. Since John Deere underwrites the administrative costs, 100% of each pledge collected goes directly to the designated charities. “I would like to thank all of our 2,300 volunteers that helped make this happen,” said Sue Rector, the volunteer chairperson for the 2023 JDC. “That (2300) was a record this year, too. Thanks also to the John Deere Classic’s Board of Directors. Thanks for all the dedication and hard work at the tournament each year. I’m so proud to be part of this organization,” she said. “Their leadership and their time and their talent and their financial commitment each year is remarkable.” Also part of the annual BFC program is Birdies donors guessing the exact number of birdies recorded at the tournament. Smart Lexus of the Quad Cities, Davenport, again donated a two-year lease to one lucky grand prize winner. This year, former Moline school teacher Diann Moore guessed correctly to claim the new car. “This is so exciting,” Ms. Moore said after the Birdies announcement. “I never win anything this big! This is a real surprise -- something you don’t think could ever happen.” The 77-year-old retiree and published local historian said she has contributed to Birdies for Charity ever since she can recall – and donates to several local charities each year. The winning number she submitted – 1,929 birdies – was a donation to the Moline Preservation Society and one of many guesses and donations she made. “This is such a great program that allows you to support the charities you love,” Ms. Moore said. “This is such a worthwhile way of not only giving (charities) money – but giving them extra money with the bonus, too. There’s just so many organizations that need your support and this is the best way to do that.”