More than $2 million raised for charities during 2018 American Family Insurance Championship

MADISON, Wi. The American Family Insurance Championship continues to exceed expectations in only its third year, surpassing the $2 million mark and raising $2,067,000 for charity in 2018, an increase of $442,000 (27 percent) over 2017.

Approximately half the proceeds will be distributed to the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, Wis., and more than 80 other primarily local charities will share the other approximately $1 million in varying amounts. By comparison, the 2017 event raised $1,625,000, and in 2016, the $1,089,500 total was the highest-ever for a first-year PGA TOUR Champions event.

The grand total raised and charitable organization recipients were revealed at an event today held at American Family Insurance corporate headquarters. The event featured championship host/player Steve Stricker, his wife, Nicki, American Family Insurance Chair and CEO Jack Salzwedel, numerous tournament sponsors, and volunteers. Other special guests included representatives of the recipient organizations, and Bodhi O’Rourke, a patient of the American Family Children’s’ Hospital. Bodhi hit the ceremonial first tee shot to start the 2018 tournament last June.

“We are beyond grateful for the generosity we’ve experienced with the American Family Insurance Championship,” said Steve and Nicki Stricker. “Our team works hard to put together a first-class event for fans, and when the result is more than $4.7 million in charitable contributions in just three short years distributed to deserving non-profit organizations, we are both amazed and humbled.”

The third annual American Family Insurance Championship was held in June at University Ridge golf course in Madison, Wis. More than 65,000 spectators from 29 states attended during the three days of tournament play and nearly 1,200 volunteers from 13 states donated their time to take part in the event. The local economic impact of the tournament was estimated to be around $15 million.

“We’re honored to partner with Steve to host the American Family Insurance Championship that offers an outstanding professional golf experience for fans and, most importantly, a great opportunity to give so much back to the community,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family Insurance chair and CEO. “Today’s announcement of more than $2 million raised from the 2018 event will help so many organizations whose goals are to build strong families and communities. And when they succeed, we all benefit.”

In addition to the American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison, here is just a sample of the more than 80 other organizations addressing multiple needs in our communities and how the grant funds will be used:

The First Tee of Southcentral Wisconsin and The First Tee of Southeast Wisconsin—Impact the lives of young people and their families by providing educational programs for youth that build character, instill life enhancing values and promote healthy choices through the game of golf. Southcentral Wisconsin / Southeast Wisconsin
East Madison Community Center—Serve at-risk minority youth and their families with an emphasis on education, fitness, nutrition, empowerment and leadership programs to promote positive opportunities and help develop strong families as well as a vibrant community.
REAP Food Group—Bring fresh, local, sustainably produced food to children, establish reliable markets for local farms using sustainable agriculture practices, and provide hands-on education in Madison classrooms.
Vera Court Neighborhood Center—Serve lower-income residents with free bilingual early childhood, academic focused after school program, summer camp, food pantry and social services.
Operation Fresh Start—Provide disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency through job skills, training and education. Operation Fresh Start addresses the core issues facing Dane County communities: education, employment, crime prevention, affordable housing and leadership development.

“The American Family Insurance Championship is a premier tournament on PGA TOUR Champions for many reasons, and its contributions to local charities are especially significant,” said Greg McLaughlin, PGA TOUR Champions president. With a passionate title sponsor and support from Nicki and Steve Stricker, the tournament grows every year and the Madison community is treated to a world-class sporting event that has an enormous impact on so many kids and families in the area.”

On Thursday, Dec. 6 the American Family Insurance Championship was awarded the prestigious President’s Award from the choices through the game of golf. Southcentral Wisconsin / Southeast Wisconsin
East Madison Community Center—Serve at-risk minority youth and their families with an emphasis on education, fitness, nutrition, empowerment and leadership programs to promote positive opportunities and help develop strong families as well as a vibrant community.
REAP Food Group—Bring fresh, local, sustainably produced food to children, establish reliable markets for local farms using sustainable agriculture practices, and provide hands-on education in Madison classrooms.
Vera Court Neighborhood Center—Serve lower-income residents with free bilingual early childhood, academic focused after school program, summer camp, food pantry and social services.
Operation Fresh Start—Provide disconnected youth a path to self-sufficiency through job skills, training and education. Operation Fresh Start addresses the core issues facing Dane County communities: education, employment, crime prevention, affordable housing and leadership development.

“The American Family Insurance Championship is a premier tournament on PGA TOUR Champions for many reasons, and its contributions to local charities are especially significant,” said Greg McLaughlin, PGA TOUR Champions president. With a passionate title sponsor and support from Nicki and Steve Stricker, the tournament grows every year and the Madison community is treated to a world-class sporting event that has an enormous impact on so many kids and families in the area.”

On Thursday, Dec. 6 the American Family Insurance Championship was awarded the prestigious President’s Award from the PGA TOUR Champions during their tournament meetings in Palm
Springs, Cal., based on outstanding charitable giving, sales, attendance and economic impact. This is the tournament’s second award, as it received the 2016 Outstanding Achievement award in its inaugural year.

Next year’s event will be held June 15-23, 2019, with special events during the week and tournament play Friday-Sunday. Scott McCarron will return as defending champion and Stricker will play in the tournament for the third time.

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About Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation
Established in 2013 when Steve Stricker became a brand ambassador for American Family Insurance, the mission of the foundation is to inspire and develop strong families and healthy kids so they can pursue their dreams. The foundation supports organizations that produce tangible outcomes that align with this mission. Web: www.amfamchampionship.com/foundation-and-charities/; Twitter: @StrickerFNDN

About the American Family Insurance Championship
American Family Insurance, the PGA TOUR Champions and Wisconsin native Steve Stricker launched this professional golf tournament in June 2016. The American Family Insurance Championship, held annually at University Ridge Golf Course in Madison, Wis., features a 78-player field. Past champions include Scott McCarron (2018), Fred Couples (2017) and Kirk Triplett (2016). Championship week includes the three-day tournament, two Pro-Am competitions, 5k run/walk, charity concert and a special exhibition featuring celebrities from the sports and music industries. The 2019 event will be held June 15-23 with all proceeds allocated to the Steve Stricker American Family Insurance Foundation for distribution to the American Family Children’s Hospital and other charities. More than $4.7 million has been donated to charity since the inaugural event in 2016. For more information: Web: www.AmFamChampionship.com; Twitter: @AmFamChamp; Facebook: American Family Insurance Championship; Instagram: amfamchampionship #AmFamChamp