Proceeds from Visit Knoxville Open benefit Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley
The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley has partnered with the Visit Knoxville Open since the 80′s.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - SInce the 1980′s, the Visit Knoxville Open and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley have been synonymous with one another.
”We really seek out excellence in our organization we want to be excellent for our kids and we want to pair our organization with an excellent brand at the time, the Knoxville Open, now the Visit Knoxville Open, it is the best of the best of golfers,” said Bart McFadden, the president, and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley.
The relationship took a hiatus for several years but resumed four or five years ago.
It’s an opportunity for the Boys and Girls Clubs to team up with an event that has prestige, while also furthering the message of the organization’s important work in the community.
”It’s great for us and I think it helps the tournament too, people come out and they know that they’re helping support kids across the region,” said McFadden.
Just one week before the summer programs at the Boys and Girls Clubs begin, McFadden was excited about the work that benefits from the money the tournament donates.
”It helps us support programs in four main areas for us its academic support, it’s mental health and social and emotional wellness, it’s childcare and making sure parents have an affordable and safe place to send their kids every day, and lastly something we really enjoy doing is the arts,” said McFadden.
Golf has a long history of not being accessible to disadvantaged people.
Now with the relationship between the clubs and the open, it opens up a new avenue for kids to experience a game that teaches plenty of life lessons.
”We’ll have kids out on the course next week. They’ll be serving as scorers and marshals. They’ll be volunteering out on the course, so they’ll have an opportunity to engage with the game and there’s so many lessons that can be learned through the game of golf and being able to get some of the golfers into some of our clubs our kids can see that it is an attainable hobby for them if it’s something they want to pursue long term,” said McFadden. ”It’s certainly an added benefit of the partnership to be able to expose our kids to something new and different for them and ‘this is something I’m interested in and I have a talent for I can go for it’.”
Over the past several years of the relationship the Visit Knoxville Open has donated nearly $100,000 to help with the 7,200 kids the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Tennessee Valley works with yearly.
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