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John Deere Classic launches this year’s Birdies for Charity

Published: Apr. 12, 2021 at 2:56 PM CDT
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SILVIS, Ill. (KWQC) - – The John Deere Classic returns in July of 2021 and something that was never postponed by the pandemic will also be back. Organizers kicked-off this year’s Birdies for Charity program Monday to help collect donations for more than 450 Quad City area charities. But it won’t be quite the same as past years.

Organizers plan to welcome back a limited number of fans to TPC at Deere Run after the tournament was canceled last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite having no tournament, the John Deere Classic still delivered $12.2 million to 465 organizations through its Birdies for Charity program in 2020.

With the return of of tournament play on July 8-11, organizers say there will still be some changes to the fundraiser for safety reasons.

Tournament Director Clair Peterson announced Monday the following changes:

-Donation amounts no longer will be tied to the number of birdies recorded by tournament contestants. Instead, donors are asked to make a flat donation to the charity of their choice. This will make for fewer touchpoints and quicker post-tournament reconciliation.

-Donors will still be able to guess the total number of birdies Tour pros will record in the Wednesday Pro-Am and the 72-hole tournament for a chance to win a two-year lease on a 2021 Lexus NX.

-Because of capacity limitations no complimentary tickets will be issued. This will apply to charity tickets, donation requests and Partner Program credentials.

-The deadline for contest and Partner donations is June 21, 2021. · All pledge forms are available at www.birdiesforcharity.com. There will be no in-person pickup.

John Deere underwrites all administrative expenses for the Birdies program, making it possible for 100 percent of every donation – and a minimum five percent bonus - to go to each donor’s designated charity.

As an incentive to attract charity donations, Smart Lexus of Quad Cities again has generously agreed to provide a two-year lease of a 2021 Lexus NX to one donor who correctly guesses the exact number of birdies recorded at this year’s tournament. Smart Lexus of Quad Cities also will continue to furnish courtesy cars to John Deere Classic contestants during the week of the tournament.

“Best of all, we are promising that each participating organization will again be paid a minimum of a 5% bonus on all monies collected on their behalf,” Peterson said. “Tournament revenue is a key component in the Birdies for Charity model, and we are optimistic that having fans back will help us do even better than we did in 2020,” said Peterson.

The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $133.09 million for charity.

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