For the past few years, businesses and community organizations have contributed to the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, which owns and operates the U.S Kids Golf World Championships.
Donors for this year’s tournaments include the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), The McPeake Hotels and the Country Club of North Carolina Foundation. Additionally, Bell Manley Properties and the Village of Pinehurst have provided goods and services in the past.
“The support that U.S. Kids Golf Foundation has received from the local community over the past several years has been outstanding,” said Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for the Foundation. “Many people do not realize that our more than 1700 annual tournaments, the U.S. Kids Golf Academy, and the Longleaf Golf & Family Club are all part of our Foundation, which has impacted more than a million players and families across the globe in its mission to make golf fun and create lasting memories.”
The CVB contributed $7,500 to support the operations of the World Championships, the world’s largest and most prestigious junior championships for kids ages 5-18.
“The U.S. Kids Golf World Championships have been filling in up our area hotel and short-term rentals at a time when historically tourism is slower than in our high seasons,” offered Phil Werz, President, and CEO for the CVB. “U.S. Kids Golf brings in over 60 staff members, tournament directors, and officials from across the county and from around the globe for the World Championships over three weeks which is a huge expense, and we hope our contribution helps to defray some of the operational costs that the Foundation has each year.”
McPeake Hotels, who have been partner hotels for the World Championship for the entire 17 years, contributed $5,000 earlier this year in support of the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation.
Bonnie McPeake, President, and CEO of McPeake Hotels, which includes the Hampton Inn & Suites, TownePlace Suites by Marriott and the newly opened Hilton Garden Inn said, “Remarkably, the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation operates with only a small list of corporate supporters. The World Championships bring thousands of people from around world to our community each year, which is the best advertisement we all can have for our community. We are pleased to contribute to their Foundations efforts to grow the game of golf.”
For the second consecutive year, the Country Club of North Carolina Foundation has donated bottled water to the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation for their World Championships. This year over 1,500 cases (36,000 bottles) of water were donated to help keep the 2,200 players and their parent caddies hydrated during their tournament rounds.
CCNC Foundation Board Member Barbara Reining adds, “Even though our golf courses at the Country Club of North Carolina are not included in the 15 community courses for their championships, we wanted to show our support for this wonderful event. We know from hosting great events at CCNC in the past that making sure the golfers are hydrated, especially with the temperatures averaging in the 90s, is a monumental task, so we hope our community outreach is a help to the U.S. Kids Golf Foundation.”
“U.S. Kids Golf Foundation chose Pinehurst as their home for the World Championships and National Golf Academy at Longleaf Golf & Family Club because of the support we have received from the area residents, local volunteers and for the business community that has embraced our efforts to grow the game,” added Vonderkall. “We are very appreciative to receive these contributions, and we hope other area businesses and organization see value in supporting our Foundation for the future.”
According to the CVB, the annual economic impact for this championship has doubled from $5 million in 2006 to over $10 million in 2021. The total impact for the 17 years is over $125 million to the area economy, including local hotels, rental houses, area restaurants and businesses.
Feature photo: Sammy McPeake, Vice President of McPeake Hotels, presents a check to Chris Vonderkall, Vice President of Tournaments for U.S. Kids Golf Foundation.