Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Last Minute, but Lasting Impact at the 2013 Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial

by Rebecca Lawson, Gift Planning Officer, American Red Cross North Texas Region

Craig Nicholson, Chairman of the Charity Committee
at the Colonial presents a check to Red Cross Regional
CEO TD Smyers
As one of Fort Worth’s biggest annual events prepared to tee off, its neighboring communities of Granbury and Cleburne were hit by not one, but 19 tornadoes. Just a few days later, the unimaginable destruction continued as Oklahoma got hit hard as well. 

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, commonly referred to as simply the “Colonial,” is the PGA Tour’s longest running event held at the same site. And though its 2013 plans were long since finalized, Colonial’s Charity Committee, which supports a number of charitable initiatives each year, wanted to do something even more – to help its neighboring communities at a time of great need. So at the last minute, they reached out to partner with the American Red Cross this year to assist in disaster relief efforts.

Craig Nicholson, the Chariman for the Charity Committee for Colonial, spoke passionately about the Tournament’s proud history of charitable initiatives: “The tournament supports the community in many ways besides showcasing top professional golfers every May… Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is much more than just a golf tournament.” Numerous Tarrant County charities benefit from the Tournament’s legacy of philanthropy each year, including Cook Children’s Hospital and The First Tee, as well as support of the local military community.

With the devastation in local communities from the tornadoes, it made sense to reach out to partner with the Red Cross as well. “This was a new event this year and was literally put together on Tuesday of Tournament Week. OUTSTANDING SUCCESS! Patrons of the tournament reached in to their pockets and extended a helping hand to those in need.” The efforts on Tournament Weekend – including multiple collection stations, amazing volunteers and publicity by Colonial and a number of the tournament’s competitors – raised over $64,000 for the American Red Cross Disaster Relief fund.

North Texas Region CEO T.D. Smyers added his gratitude: "We at the American Red Cross are extremely appreciative of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial's generosity, and are proud to receive this donation on behalf of the thousands it will help recover from the devastation of recent tornadoes. The philanthropic legacy of this tournament is a proud one, and we're happy to become part of it."

For the latest information on all of the Red Cross’s response efforts, including how you can help, visit redcross.org.   

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