It’s not their putt but golf fans still claim them for charity

Sanford International

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — In 2020, the Sanford International raised over $270,000 for local charities, nearly doubling the total amount from the previous two years.

Every time a player sinks a birdie putt during the Sanford International, Sanford Children’s Hospital wins. The Birdies Give Back program encourages fans to donate money for every birdie on the scoreboard.

“Those that are walking the course and those from afar can make a contribution, a pledge, that for every birdie that’s made between tournament play Friday through the last putt of the day on Sunday you can make a contribution to the Sanford Health Foundation to go back to Sanford Children’s,” Sanford Health Chief Philanthropy Officer Bobbie Tibbetts said.

Participants can pledge a one-time dollar amount or a per-birdie amount. Last year a record 845 birdies were made at the Sanford International.

“It can be as little as a penny to upwards of, we have people giving a dollar, five dollars per birdie, so it’s really exciting. The program has really taken off, this community is just so giving so it’s been a lot of fun,” Sanford International Tournament Director Josh Brewster said.

Birdies Give Back generated nearly $100,000 last year, and every penny counts.

“The majority of that goes to support our child life program. That’s really the care team that walks through the cancer journey with the patients but also with their families,” Tibbetts said.

A cause that should provide golfers and fans with a little extra motivation.

“You have a lot of tough tests out here, but these guys love making birdies, they love playing well, and giving back when you make those birdies just makes it even sweeter for them,” Brewster said.

“I would say we’d love to get to that $100,000 mark. We know the power of philanthropy is huge and when we can direct that amount of money, 100-percent of it, back to the patients and the families that’s what matters,” Tibbetts said.

Click HERE if you’d like to participate in the Birdies Give Back program.

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