The Valero Texas Open and Benefit for Children Golf Classic together raised a record $10 million for children’s charities – shattering the previous record of $9 million, raised the past two years in a row – organizers announced during a special event for local children at the headquarters of tournament title sponsor Valero Energy Corporation.
The fundraising total is likely to once again secure the Valero Texas Open’s spot among the top fundraising events on the PGA TOUR.
Funds are raised through sponsorships sold during the Valero Texas Open – which takes place Thursday through Sunday this week – and the Valero Benefit for Children Golf Classic – a golf tournament in which a record 2,400 participants will play on Monday, April 8 at 11 of San Antonio’s premier golf courses. For the first time ever, all Benefit for Children sponsorships have been sold out.
Employees in locations where Valero has operations choose worthy children’s charities to receive the funds. Though its history, the Texas Open has raised $86 million for charities – $81.5 million of that since 2002, when Valero became the tournament’s title sponsor.
The Valero Texas Open also raises charitable dollars through its pro-am golf tournaments, the Birdies for Charity program in which nonprofit organizations solicit pledges for every birdie made during tournament week, and the Chip In for Schools program, which allows schools to sell discounted tournament tickets and keep all the proceeds.
“The record fundraising total just highlights what a tremendous tournament this is going to be,” said Valero President and Chief Operating Officer Joe Gorder, who is heading up Valero’s efforts in this year’s tournament. “We have an excellent field of players, and the position we have the week before the Masters, as well as the new leadership of the Valero Texas Open, has generated a lot of excitement about the tournament.”
Last fall, the Valero Texas Open hired Greg Norman Production Company, a subsidiary of Great White Shark Enterprises, to oversee management of the annual PGA TOUR event, giving World Golf Hall of Fame member Greg Norman a presence with the event contested on the TPC San Antonio’s AT&T Oaks Course, which he designed.
GNPC designated Larson Segerdahl to be the Tournament Director. “The tournament is off to a great start with this announcement,” Segerdahl said. “That’s thanks to our sponsors, the Valero Texas Open staff and the hundreds of volunteers who make the tournament possible.”
This year’s tournament, which runs Thursday, April 4 through Sunday, April 7 at the TPC San Antonio AT&T Oaks Course, provides its players a chance to earn FedEx-Cup points. Tickets can be purchased through schools participating in the Chip In for Schools program (call 210-345-3818), or by going online at www.valerotexasopen.org. Additionally, tickets can be purchased at area Valero Corner Stores or at the tournament gate. Children 12 and under and spectators with a valid military ID will receive free admission.