Tournament officials announced today that the 2013 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola raised a record $2.3 million for local charities. Organizations that received donations include the East Lake Foundation, The First Tee of East Lake and others. Since 1997, the tournament has generated more than $22 million for charity.
“Charity is a top priority at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, and we work hard every year to raise record donations for the local community,” said Tom Clark, executive director of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. “The charitable spirit of the tournament extends far beyond the dollars raised; it is at the heart of our staff, volunteers and fans who make it possible.”
“Coca-Cola is a global brand with deep roots in its local communities. The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola celebrates Atlanta-area charities to help develop young men and women passionate about achieving their dreams,” said Sharon Byers, senior vice president, sports & entertainment and community marketing, Coca-Cola North America. “We’re over the top with excitement for this year’s record donation and want to sincerely and humbly thank all those that participated in raising such an extraordinary amount for our city.”
Annually, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola is the largest fundraiser for the East Lake Foundation, the nonprofit organization that led the community revitalization of the East Lake community. The East Lake Foundation incorporates mixed-income housing, a cradle-to-college educational pipeline, and community wellness programs, serving as the lead organization in the collaborative effort with its partners to sustain a vibrant East Lake. With the tournament’s support, the East Lake Foundation is able to provide programs and services that support 1,500 residents in The Villages of East Lake and more than 1,300 students at Charles R. Drew Charter School. This summer the newly constructed Drew Charter School Junior and Senior Academy will open allowing Drew Charter School to expand enrollment to include more high school students.
“The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola has provided instrumental support to the East Lake Foundation and The First Tee of East Lake, helping us to transform our neighborhood and build promise for thousands of youth and families served each year,” said Daniel Shoy, Jr., president, East Lake Foundation. “We are grateful to have a national spotlight to promote the East Lake community, where opportunity takes place.”
Donations from the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola have also funded The First Tee of East Lake, which supports more than 650 children from Drew Charter School and the East Lake community. The First Tee teaches children vital life skills through the game of golf and prepares them for the future.
The TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola is proud to support both the East Lake Foundation and The First Tee of East Lake, which have influenced and transformed countless lives in the Atlanta area including Doug Peters and Kayla McClendon.
Doug Peters is a Drew Charter School alumnus and an East Lake resident who participated in the East Lake Foundation’s CREW (Creating Responsible, Educated and Working) Teens programs when he was in high school. Thanks to the community’s support system and programs, he excelled in school and was accepted at Georgia Southern University. Peters attended Georgia Southern for three years and graduated a year early in 2012. He returned to Georgia Southern to pursue his Master’s Degree focused on higher education administration. In 2013, Peters’ life came full circle when he returned to the East Lake Foundation to serve as a summer intern and work with his alma mater, the Drew Charter School. He is in the final semester of his Master’s program.
Kayla McClendon is a long-time participant in The First Tee of East Lake’s programs and has been selected twice to hit the ceremonial tee shot at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. When she was selected to hit the ceremonial tee shot in 2011, she said the lessons she learned on East Lake’s Charlie Yates Golf Course “have transformed my life.” Through her time at The First Tee, McClendon gained the courage and confidence to travel the United States, attend law, engineering and NASA camps and give back to the community by serving as a math tutor. She is in her final months as a high school student.