Ally Challenge Generates Over $800,000 for Local Charities

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Tournament Officials announced today that the inaugural playing of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren, concluded September 16, 2018, at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, raised $801,060.41 for charitable organizations in southeastern Michigan. The total includes $365,000 for each of the tournament’s primary beneficiaries, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan – serving children in Flint/Genesee County (JA) and Community Foundation of Greater Flint (CFGF).

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“By all accounts, the inaugural tournament was a triumph for this community,” said Alison Summerville, business administration executive and head of Corporate Citizenship at Ally. “I’m so happy to present these checks which are the culmination of the hard work of hundreds of people at Ally and in this community to make tournament week a huge success. The legacy of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren will live on for years to come through the great work of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan.”

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“McLaren Health Care is honored to be involved with this worthwhile cause,” said McLaren Health Care Executive Vice President Greg Lane. “It is incredibly rewarding to work with The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren to positively impact the youth of Genesee County. McLaren is committed to making a difference in the communities where we live and work, and we look forward to building on the philanthropic successes of the tournament in 2019 and beyond.”

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Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. Junior Achievement is part of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to empowering young people by teaching them the knowledge and skills needed to own their economic success, plan for their future and make beneficial academic and economic choices.

The tournament’s donation will allow Junior Achievement to expedite its five-year growth plan for Genesee County, with emphasis on the expansion of the newly opened JA Finance Park facility on the Flint Campus of Baker College. The JA Finance Park Program will engage middle and high school students in an interactive budgeting simulation that enables them to develop skills to successfully navigate today’s complex economic environment and discover how their decisions can impact tomorrow. Teachers that would like to request JA Programs for their students or individuals interested in volunteering can call Cindy Bazner at (810) 553-4140 or email Meghan Cuneo at mcuneo@jamichigan.org.

“We are grateful to have been selected as one of the charities benefiting from the proceeds of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren,” said Kandace Jones, President & CEO of Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan. “These resources will help inspire and prepare thousands of K-12 students in Flint, and surrounding areas, to succeed in a global economy through their participation in Junior Achievement’s financial literacy and work readiness programming.”

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The Community Foundation of Greater Flint serves the common good in Genesee County—building a strong community by engaging people in philanthropy and developing the community’s permanent endowment—now and for generations to come. CFGF helps donors support the causes they care about, today or through their estates. Since 1988 the Community Foundation has granted more than $116 million to nonprofit organizations to build a thriving community. CFGF serves Flint and all of Genesee County including its community funds in Clio, Davison, Fenton, Flushing and Grand Blanc.

The tournament’s donation to the Community Foundation of Greater Flint will support two charitable funds – the Flint Kids Fund and the Flint Promise Fund. The Flint Kids Fund supports the long-term health and development needs of children and families affected by the water crisis with early childhood education, access to healthy food, access to a medical home, and family emotional supports. The Flint Promise Fund is a locally-driven initiative designed to offer Flint students more opportunities for post-secondary education through a promise scholarship.

“The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren is the gift that keeps on giving through its investment in Flint’s youth, from birth to high school,” said Isaiah M. Oliver, President, and CEO of Community Foundation of Greater Flint. “This donation is an investment in Flint’s future and a vote of confidence in our children. We are thrilled that the PGA TOUR Champions have a home in Genesee County. Their impact will be long-lasting.”

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Additional funds were raised by the tournament through a unique program called Birdies for Charity presented by Ally, a grassroots charity platform that serves as an extension of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren’s mission to positively impact non-profit organizations in the greater Flint area. A total of 16 qualified Michigan 501(c)(3) charities participated in the program in 2018 and raised $26,721.75 thanks to 876 birdies recorded by PGA TOUR Champions players during competitive rounds at The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren.

“The level of support provided to this tournament from our partners, volunteers, Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club, and HNS Sports Group is truly inspiring,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer, Ally. “We are incredibly thankful to all who graciously donate their time to support and help raise funds for charitable organizations in southeastern Michigan, including the tournament’s primary beneficiaries, Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan and Community Foundation of Greater Flint.”

Volunteer and program recognition donations round out the tournament’s 2018 giving, totaling $44,338.66 to local charitable organizations, including tournament parking programs and volunteer support in tournament concessions.

“On behalf of HNS Sports Group and our tournament staff, I would like to first thank Ally Financial, McLaren Healthcare and all of our sponsors for their generous support,” said Chis Coffman, The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren tournament director. “When you add in the backing we received from this amazing community, the results we are celebrating today become a reality. The tournament is proud to firmly establish a legacy of giving to youth in southeastern Michigan and is committed to growing its charitable spirit in the years to come.”

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Next Years Tournament

The 2019 Ally Challenge presented by McLaren is September 9-15 at renown Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club.

The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren will be one of the premier Regular Season events on PGA TOUR Champions in 2019, which will give way to the fourth-annual Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs – a season-ending, three tournament series used to determine the Tour’s season-long champion.

All three rounds of The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren will be broadcast on Golf Channel.

For more information about The Ally Challenge, please visit theallychallenge.com. For the latest Ally Challenge news and updates on social media follow the tournament on Twitter and Instagram at @AllyChallenge and on Facebook at Facebook.com/AllyChallenge.

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Steve Sweitzer
Steve is the Sports Editor for the Lasco Press and highlights our coverage of NASCAR and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Steve is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association and a nationally published author of automotive related articles for industry trade magazines. He is also a freelance technical writer and accomplished photographer. A 25-year resident of Southeast Michigan, Steve’s passion for reporting on our community, it’s residents, and our automotive connections allow us to use his skills to cover a number of events. Steve’s ability to seek out the unique behind the scenes accounts that tell the often-overlooked aspect of a story makes for entertaining reading. Follow Steve at thelascopress.com with weekly NASCAR updates and featured articles.