The John Deere Classic offers a lot of excitement for fans. You have freshly cut fairways, world famous golfers, Whitey's ice cream and literally tons of John Deere equipment on display. But, for some, their favorite part of the Classic is something beyond the course aesthetics, long drives and hole-in-ones. In fact, it's greener than the greens.
We're talking about the annual Birdies for Charity program. Nonprofits and local citizens look forward to participating in the program every year. The community rallies together to raise donations for hundreds of Quad City area charities. Last year, despite the tournament being cancelled, the Classic delivered $12.2 million to 465 organizations, which came at a critical time given the circumstances of the pandemic.
"Birdies for Charity is a cornerstone of our employee giving" says Nate Clark, president of the John Deere Foundation. "Last year was particularly difficult for our neighbors and friends. We experienced higher poverty, increased hunger, and countless other challenges. As they have done time and time again, John Deere employees stepped up to help those organizations that help families recover from even the toughest times."
John Deere's leadership team supported by the John Deere Foundation's matching gift program donated nearly $1.4 million through the Birdies for Charity program. John Deere's leaders directed almost 90 percent of their donations to United Way Quad Cities and its signature programs.
Mary Pat Tubb, general manager at John Deere Davenport Works, serves on the board of directors at United Way Quad Cities. Tubb has been a long-time United Way contributor and shares how her community involvement changed her perspective:
"After joining the United Way board of directors, first in Augusta and now here in the Quad Cities, I came to understand how high the poverty rates are in our communities or how many students are struggling in school. It's hard to know how to help, but that is where the United Way comes in. We know that the United Way is a good steward of our donation and can have the most impact because they have the broadest reach to help people solve problems from multiple angles. I'm proud to work for John Deere where we have a matching gifts program, and the Birdies for Charity makes it even better."
The Birdies program has concluded for the year. For those who would like to contribute to United Way Quad Cities, please visit: https://www.unitedwayqc.org/
The results for the 2021 campaign will be announced in October.