Web.com Tour event provides support to Acadiana even in tough economic times
2018 CHITIMACHA LOUISIANA OPEN HITS $205,000 IN CHARITY GIVING
LAFAYETTE – The longest sports winning streak in the Acadiana area continued Wednesday, as for the 27th straight year Acadiana-area charities were the biggest winners from the Chitimacha Louisiana Open Presented by NACHER.
The area’s premier professional sports event awarded $205,000 in checks to 52 local and regional charities and youth groups Wednesday at its annual Charity Luncheon at the Petroleum Club. The luncheon symbolized the end of the tournament’s year-long activities and continued the event’s mission of dedication to charitable giving, one of the hallmarks of the PGA Tour.
“This is our favorite day of the year,” said Open co-chairman David Hebert, “and it’s our most important day because we know how vital these funds are to these non-profits, charities, and youth groups. Today we got to see those dollars at work.”
The PGA Tour’s Web.com Tour event celebrated its 27th anniversary last March at Le Triomphe Golf & Country Club. The tournament is the area’s single largest charitable sports event, and this year’s $205,000 total putting the Louisiana Open is on the verge of the $5 million mark in its total charitable contributions to Acadiana and regional groups since its founding in 1992. This year’s total is a nearly 50 percent increase from just two years ago when a total of $137,500 was given to charity.
“Everyone is aware of the tough economic times we’ve been facing, but the Acadiana area never ceases to amaze me,” said Louisiana Open executive director Danny Jones after he and representatives of the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana distributed checks from the Open and other events during 2017-18. “The economy’s not great but it’s rebounding, and that’s a testament to what this community and what this area are about. This event is much more than a golf tournament, and the people of Acadiana realize that.
“Everyone in this great community understands what helping people means. I watch it every year with this tournament. This community never lets us down.”
The Chitimacha Louisiana Open is one of only two PGA Tour-sponsored events in Louisiana and is one of the five oldest tournaments on the Web.com Tour, the official proving ground of the PGA Tour. For almost a quarter-century, it has served as the kickoff event for the U.S. segment of the Web.com Tour and therefore draws one of the strongest fields of the Tour’s nine-month season.
Representatives from many of the charities and groups were on hand Wednesday to accept the Open’s contributions. Most of those groups were involved in the staging of the tournament in some capacity, as part of the hundreds of volunteers who make the Open possible.
“We have incredible volunteers,” Jones said. “It’s not like we just give them a check. They’re out there working, generating their own funds. We’re just their vehicle that allows the to do that.”
More than 100 different charities and groups have benefitted from the Open in its history, and a huge percentage of those are based in the Acadiana area and are aimed at youth causes.
“That is the most important thing we do,” Hebert said. “We’re about helping kids. There are so many groups that help us put on the event for a couple of weeks, but those groups do great work all year long. It’s very special to us when we can help them, because we know it’s making a difference in a lot of lives.”
The Open also announced its 2019 dates during Wednesday’s luncheon. The tournament’s 28th renewal is scheduled for Monday-Sunday, March 18-24, again at Le Triomphe.
“When you look back at the history and the evolution of the Web.com Tour, from when it started in 1990 and for us in 1992, it’s amazing how Lafayette and the Acadiana area continues to embrace us 27 years later,” Jones said. “It’s a testament to the people of our area and their generosity, that more than a quarter of a century later we are still making an incredible impact together for those in need.”
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