Lexus of Quad Cities Donates 2-Year Lease to Lucky Winner

The 2018 John Deere Classic helped raise a record $13.45 million for 534 local and regional charities, an increase of $1.18 million over the previous year, tournament officials announced Wednesday at John Deere World Headquarters.

Tournament officials said each participating charity will receive an 8.2 percent bonus payment on top of the money raised through the Birdies for Charity program - 64 percent more than the tournament guarantee of a five percent bonus.

The John Deere Classic now has helped raise a total of $107 million for charity since the tournament began in 1971, with $104.5 million – 98 percent - coming since John Deere assumed the title sponsorship in 1998.

“The John Deere Classic is thrilled to announce that the tournament has helped raise $13.45 million for 534 deserving charities in 2018,” said tournament director Clair Peterson.  “Everyone involved with this charitable mission is proud and very appreciative of the individual donors, companies, and local foundations who made 2018’s charitable total the largest in tournament history.”

The $13.45 million total works out to $35.88 for each of the Quad Cities’ 375,000 residents, again making the John Deere Classic the No. 1 in per capita contributions on the regular PGA TOUR. 

Overall, the John Deere Classic ranks among the top three in charitable giving on the PGA TOUR.

This year, 2,355 birdies were recorded from Wednesday through Sunday during the John Deere Classic pro-am and tournament rounds at TPC Deere Run in Silvis, Illinois. Individuals who pledged a penny per birdie would donate $23.55 to their designated charity or charities.  Other individuals, foundations and institutions donate lump sums.​

John Deere Classic officials on Wednesday also gave away a two-year lease on a Lexus NX – courtesy of Lexus of Quad Cities – to one of two finalists who came closest to guessing the exact number of birdies this year.  Both received a key, and the person whose key started the car won it.

The free Lexus NX lease program annually serves as an incentive to potential donors to participate in the Birdies program. Lexus of Quad Cities also provided courtesy cars for John Deere Classic contestants and on-course evacuation vehicles.

“Birdies for Charity is extremely grateful that Lexus of Quad Cities has made such a strong commitment to the John Deere Classic and to the hundreds of charities we serve in the Quad Cities and neighboring communities,” said Birdies for Charity director Kristy Ketcham-Jackson. “The opportunity for Birdies for Charity donors to win a two-year lease on a Lexus NX adds an extra incentive and an element of fun and excitement to the pledge drive and to tournament week itself.”

The total amount donated to the charities is the result of a three-pronged fundraising effort:

  • The tournament’s Birdies for Charity program enables individuals, companies, and foundations to pledge to a charity or charities of their choice either a minimum of one cent for each birdie recorded at the tournament from Wednesday-Sunday or in lump sum donations.
  • Because John Deere underwrites the administrative costs of the Birdies program, 100 percent of each Birdies pledge collected goes to the core mission of the designated charities rather than to administrative, operational, or fundraising activities.
  • The Bonus Fund consists of tournament revenues, direct donations, a John Deere Foundation matching grant, as well as proceeds from special events, such as this year’s Lee Brice concert during tournament week. 

After Wednesday’s announcement, officials distributed checks to charity representatives who attended the event.

For the third consecutive year, three lucky charities in attendance received an extra $1,000 each in a blind drawing.

Checks will be mailed to charities that did not pick them up in person.

Michael Kim, 25, won the 2018 John Deere Classic with a record-setting score of 27-under par, becoming the 22nd player in tournament history to win his first PGA TOUR event at the Quad Cities event.

The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinois.  Since 1971, the tournament has helped raise $107 million for charity.

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