American Family Insurance Championship returns in 2021, raises $2.3 million for charity
American Family Children’s Hospital and 124 non-profits will benefit.
After being cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, the PGA TOUR Champions American Family Insurance Championship returned in 2021 and raised $2.3 million for charity, it was announced today.
Approximately half of the 2021 proceeds will be distributed to the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition, 124 primarily local charities will share the remaining $1.15 million in varying amounts.
Fans, sponsors, others back at University Ridge in 2021
The support of fans, sponsors, the PGA TOUR Champions and others resulted in an impressive total this year, given the safety and health protocols implemented in response to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19. Among these were the absence of the popular celebrity foursome, concert at Breese Stevens Field, 5K run/walk, hospitality design limitations, and per-day limits on number of fans.
“Though we weren’t able to have every event associated with the Championship this year, we were certainly excited to be back playing at University Ridge, joined by the fans, sponsors and the PGA TOUR who have provided such incredible support since 2016,” said Steve and Nicki Stricker. “We continue to be overwhelmed with gratitude for the opportunity to be part of this wonderful community event and to assist worthwhile charitable organizations.”
Proceeds total more than $12 million since 2016
Today’s announcement brings the total amount raised for charity since the inaugural event in 2016 to $12,579,000 distributed through 560 charitable grants. The grand total includes $2.8 million donated in 2020 despite the cancellation of the tournament and other related events, when American Family reallocated its title sponsorship investment and combined it with financial resources within the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation to make direct charitable donations, including those providing COVID-19 relief.
“After a year away, it was very exciting to have these legends of golf back at University Ridge showcasing their talents for fans,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family chair and chief executive officer. “As I retire as CEO, I’ll always be proud and grateful American Family became the sponsor of this event, which has received tremendous support and enabled us to raise so much money for deserving charity organizations having such a positive impact in our communities.”
“The American Family Insurance Championship continues to raise the bar as one of the top tournaments on our Tour, most notably in their passion and commitment to charitable giving within the Madison-area community,” said PGA TOUR Champions President Miller Brady. “The tournament team – with the dedication of Steve and Nicki Stricker -- has made an incredible impact in Wisconsin with over $12 million in charitable giving since 2016. I am excited to see how the tournament continues to grow in the future.”
Watch this video narrated by Steve Stricker about this year's event:
Grant recipients help build strong individuals, families and communities
In addition to the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, here is just a sample of the other organizations addressing various needs in our communities and how the grant funds will support their important work:
Families & Schools Together
Families & Schools Together (FAST), based in Madison, envisions a world where in every community, every child thrives. With a mission to nurture the inherent potential of every child by uniting families, schools, and communities, FAST partners with community-based organizations and schools to implement an eight-week evidence-based, family engagement program which helps children thrive by building stronger, more supportive relationships at home. Rigorously tested, FAST improves family cohesion, strengthens family-school partnerships, and supports child and family mental health and emotional well-being, while reducing stress.
Wheels for Winners
Serving Madison and Dane County since 1992, Wheels for Winners (WFW) is an all-volunteer organization whose primary work involves refurbishing and distributing donated bicycles primarily to kids who perform 15 hours of community service. WFW relies on community organizations to engage kids in volunteer work and help us get bikes to deserving earners. This project builds capacity for community involvement by enabling WFW to engage kids more directly through BikEquity to stimulate interest in cycling and provide opportunities for bike riding and ownership.
Badger Prairie Needs Network
Badger Prairie Needs Network operates one of the busiest food pantries in Dane County. Last year, the pantry provided over 955,000 pounds of food (approximately 829,000 meals) to more than 24,600 individuals. In 2020, they expanded the distribution area to include all of Dane County which led to a 500% increase in new households that had never sought prior assistance.
PEARLS for Teen Girls
PEARLS for Teen Girls’ mission is to improve the quality of life and strengthen the community one girl at a time by empowering young women with self-development tools, guidance, and support to strive for better, brighter futures by living out PEARLS values: Personal responsibility, Empathy, Awareness, Respect, Leadership, and Support. PEARLS provides a safe space for adolescent girls to learn about and understand themselves and the world and find support for positive self-development.
The 2022 American Family Insurance Championship will be held June 4-12 with special events during the week and tournament play Friday-Sunday, June 10-12. Jerry Kelly will return as defending champion and Stricker will play in the tournament for the fifth time.
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About Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation
Established in 2013 when Steve Stricker became a brand ambassador for American Family Insurance, the mission of the foundation is to inspire and develop strong families and healthy kids so they can pursue their dreams. The foundation supports organizations that produce tangible outcomes that align with this mission. Twitter: @StrickerFNDN; Web: https://www.amfam.com/sponsorships/amfamchampionship/foundation
About the American Family Insurance Championship
American Family Insurance, the PGA TOUR Champions and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker launched this professional golf tournament in June 2016. The American Family Insurance Championship, held annually at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., features a 78-player field. Past champions include Jerry Kelly (2019 and 2021), Scott McCarron (2018), Fred Couples (2017) and Kirk Triplett (2016). (The 2020 event was cancelled due to COVID-19.) Championship week includes the three-day tournament, two Pro-Am competitions, 5K run/walk, charity concert and a special exhibition featuring celebrities from the sports and music industries. The 2022 event will be held June 4-12 with all proceeds allocated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities. Nearly $12.6 million has been donated to charity since the inaugural event in 2016 through 2021. For more information: Web: www.AmFamChampionship.com; Twitter: @AmFamChamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; Instagram: amfamchampionship #AmFamChamp