Egolf Tarheel Tour names ALS as tour's official charity in '09
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte, NC-based Egolf Tarheel Tour announced that The Bruce Edwards Foundation, which raises awareness for ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), would be designated the tour's "Official Charity" for the 2009 season.
The foundation was created in 2004 in honor of longtime professional caddy Bruce Edwards, who suffered from ALS and spent the majority of his 30 years on the bag of Hall-of-Fame golfer Tom Watson. After his friend's passing on April 8, 2004, Watson vowed to speak out for the more than 30,000 people diagnosed with the disease commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease and in turn helped to form The Bruce Edwards Foundation.
The tour, which was formed in 2002 as an avenue for aspiring professional golfers to hone their games on in hopes of ascending to the PGA Tour, had considered numerous options before realizing that The Bruce Edwards Foundation was nothing short of a logical fit.
K. Wesley M. Jones, Chief Executive Officer for Egolf, saw the tour as a platform from which to create additional awareness for ALS and specifically the foundation.
"Our goal since day one has been to create and present a tour of the utmost professionalism and distinction for our players. In Bruce Edwards and his story, we saw a man who upheld each of those traits while fighting impossible odds and thought a logical connection could be established between the two."
John Feinstein, a political and sports reporter as well as best-selling author, is the Chairman of the Bruce Edwards Foundation's Board of Directors. His book about Bruce and his battle against ALS, "Caddy For Life: The Bruce Edwards Story," was written at Bruce's request and details his extraordinary life and the struggles he endured with ALS.
"We are happy that the tour has named our foundation as the official charity," said Feinstein. "These players put countless hours into achieving their dreams of playing on golf's highest level, and I know that Bruce would be proud to have been associated with that type of determination."
Feinstein and Watson have each received the prestigious "Partner in Collaboration" award from the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins for their work in raising money and awareness for ALS research.
The foundation and its mission to find a cure touched home with one member of the Egolf Tarheel Tour family - president David Siegel.
"ALS has deeply affected my family and in particular my wife's family," said Siegel. "Bruce's story and in turn John's telling of it were so inspiring to the millions who read his book, we are thrilled to be associated with the foundation."
The foundation's primary fundraising vehicle is the Bruce Edwards Celebrity Golf Classic, held annually at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. Since the first playing of the event in September of 2005, the event has raised more than $2.5 million for ALS research.
As the tour's official charity, the foundation will receive proceeds from the tour throughout the 2009 season. The first Egolf Tarheel Tour event of 2009 will take place in the greater Bluffton, SC area on March 11-13.
About Egolf Tarheel Tour:
The Egolf Tarheel Tour is a Charlotte, NC-based professional golf tour that has conducted 54- and 72-hole tournaments in the Southeast since its inception in 2002. The tour features approximately 20 professional tournaments annually with purses ranging from $220,000 to $300,000 and field sizes from 156 to 240 players. In its seven-year history, the tour has seen the likes of Will MacKenzie, Jason Bohn, Steve Marino, Tommy Gainey, Matt Bettencourt and others ascend to the PGA Tour, while over 250 past Egolf Tarheel Tour players have gone on to play on the Nationwide Tour. In 2009, the tour will join in the green initiative by layering in product, practices and incentives for its more than 350 projected members in order to create a positive environmental impact in the arena of professional sports.
About Bruce Edwards Foundation:
The Bruce Edwards Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with no paid staff. All proceeds from the annual golf tournament and all donations go directly to the research and medical facilities it supports. The primary beneficiary of all donations is the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins. All donations to the Bruce Edwards Foundation are tax-deductible.
The Tarheel Tour http://tarheeltour.com
Bruce Edwards Foundation http://bruceedwardsfoundation.org
Egolf Tarheel Tour
Chief Operating Officer