There are plenty of reasons why people in Fort Worth and Tarrant County love the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Some of them are about golf — but many are not, and a good portion are about kids and charities that benefit from the annual tournament.
Make no mistake — the golf is great. This year’s tournament, which started Thursday and winds up on Sunday, could boast three of the top eight golfers in the world. Not many tournaments at this time of year can claim that many of the game’s top names.
Included is No. 1-ranked Adam Scott.
Of course, for spectators the tournament is not just about golf. It’s about a lot of partying around the tees and greens.
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And it’s about a whole bunch of people-watching, something of an annual fashion show in the sun.
Some people may not know that the tournament is not just a four-day event. It’s a year-round charity fundraiser. All PGA Tour events support charities in their local communities.
Colonial Country Club holds its Charities Breakfast each December to distribute funds to more than 80 charities.
The emphasis is on children’s charities, and the tournament’s website, crowneplazainvitational.com, lists them.
The primary beneficiary is Cook Children’s Medical Center, Fort Worth’s crown jewel of pediatric medical care.
Cook Children’s is a non-profit hospital that receives patients from nearly half of Texas, and none are turned away for lack of ability to pay.
But the money for life-saving medical care and equipment has to come from somewhere, and the annual PGA tournament and related events at Colonial have given Cook Children’s more than $5.2 million over the past 10 years, the website says.
Finally, Birdies for Charity raised $6.1 million last year alone.
Charitable organizations get individuals and corporations to pledge a certain amount for each birdie made during the tournament.
Donors must keep in mind that these are very good golfers. The 2013 tournament saw 1,381 birdies.
Each penny pledged brought in $13.81, and some folks pledged a lot of pennies.
Great fun and great causes make this tournament special.