MOLINE, Ill. — The John Deere Classic golf tournament raised a record $13.9 million through community donations and a 7% bonus into its Birdies for Charity program.
The record-breaking total of $13,908,668 was announced during a Monday press conference at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline.
"We really have the entire community to thank for stepping forward being totally engaged, supporting their favorite organizations and allowing us to have such an exciting announcement today," Clair Peterson, executive director of the John Deere Classic, said.
The previous record was $13,819,154, which was set in 2019. This year's total exceeded the previous amount by $89,514.
Organizers are pleased to see the renewed support, as the JDC was cancelled in 2020 and limited in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It takes a lot of commitment of each charity that partners with us, and then it takes the commitment of everyone in town to support their favorite organization," Peterson added.
The tournament paid a 7% bonus this year, compared to its previous 5%. This bonus comes from tournament revenue, direct donations, a John Deere matching grant and special events proceeds.
The total raised since Birdies for Charity's founding in 1971 is now at $159.57 million.
The money will be distributed across 481 local charity groups.
"It's a really a wide variety: some are very small, just getting started, maybe just getting their 501(c)3 status," Birdies for Charities director Micaela Booth said. "There are also charities that are nationally known by their names that have been incorporated for many years. So it really does range."
The $13.9 million total works out to around $37 for each of the Quad Cities’ 375,000 residents, making the John Deere Classic the top tournament in per capita contributions on the regular PGA TOUR. The JDC has held that distinction for more than a decade.
In addition to the monetary announcement, five donors were given the chance to win a lease to a new car, after correctly guessing the exact number of birdies recorded in the 2022 tournament, which was 2,041 birdies.
Ken Goddard of DeWitt, Iowa, who was represented by a friend while Goddard was watching over FaceTime, won the two-year lease on a Lexus RX350 on the fifth and final key tried. Smart Lexus of the Quad Cities, the courtesy car provider to the tournament, donates the car.