SILVIS, Illinois (July 6, 2011) – For the second consecutive year, members of the PGA TOUR Wives Association today donated both time and treasure to some 200 needy local families, when they distributed food in East Moline via the River Bend Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry and the John Deere Classic Birdies for Charity program.
The PGA TOUR Wives Association presented a check for $2000 to the River Bend Foodbank at THE National Bank, 1523 8th Street, in East Moline. Some 12,000 pounds of food were distributed to the families at that location.
The cost of feeding 200 families via the River Bend Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry is approximately $2000, with the retail value of the food approaching $20,000, according to River Bend officials.
"Once again, the PGA TOUR Wives Association is very excited to participate with Birdies for Charity and the River Bend Foodbank Mobile Food Pantry to help achieve a very immediate and tangible result: feeding needy families," said Shauna Matteson, PGA TOUR Wives Association event co-chair.
"We felt the experience we had last year with the River Bend Food Bank was so successful we wanted to do it again," Matteson said. "In these times when many people are feeling the pain of economic distress, it is very important that those who are fortunate give back."
Birdies for Charity will provide the River Bend Foodbank with a minimum five percent bonus on top of the Wives' $2000 donation and any other donations River Bend may receive from members of the community, according to Birdies for Charity director Kristy Ketcham Jackson.
"Thanks to John Deere's ongoing sponsorship of the John Deere Classic and Birdies for Charity, 100 percent of all money pledged, plus a bonus, is returned back to each participating non-profit entity," Ketcham Jackson said.
Tom Laughlin, Executive Director for River Bend Foodbank, thanked the TOUR Wives and the Birdies program.
"The River Bend Foodbank is thankful that the PGA TOUR Wives have been so willing to contribute monetarily to the cause of fighting hunger and to utilize their high profile to bring attention to what is a growing crisis in a nation of abundance," Laughlin said. "We also thank them for participating with us in distributing the food. Doing so helps engender a very real and significant human connection between donor and recipient."
The Mobile Pantry is operated by the Quad Cities-based River Bend Foodbank (www.riverbendfoodbank.org) with the goal of delivering food to specific, mostly rural communities. The John Deere Foundation contributed $90,000 for one of the refrigerated trucks used in the program.
"We are delighted that PGA TOUR Wives have chosen to support the Mobile Pantry project again this year," said Mara Sovey, president of the John Deere Foundation and director of the Corporate Citizenship Center of Excellence. "The Mobile Pantry initiative reflects the core values of the John Deere Foundation's signature program, Solutions for World Hunger."
About the River Bend Foodbank
River Bend Foodbank is the largest hunger relief organization in the Quad Cities and surrounding communities, distributing seven million pounds of food annually to more than 300 charitable feeding programs throughout a 22 county service area in Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. The Foodbank also operates four Kids Café sites serving over 10,000 individuals each week and providing more than 50,000 free evening meals to children at risk of hunger each year. The organization’s Backpack Program provides more than 1200 children with nourishing food to take home on the weekends during the school year.
PGA TOUR Wives Association, Inc., is a Florida not-for-profit corporation organized to render support and provide assistance to needy children and their families by means of charitable events. Incorporated in 1988 by wives of professional golfers on PGA TOUR, the Association has raised more than $3 million for child and women related charities. In addition to monetary contributions, its members have given back through personal time, participating in a wide range of service projects from Habitat for Humanity builds to cooking in soup kitchens to playing with hospitalized children in communities where PGA TOUR tournaments are held. For more information about the Association, visit the website at pgatourwives.org.
The John Deere Classic helped raise $4.34 million for 500 charities in 2010, ranking it first on the PGA TOUR overall in per capita contributions and fifth on the PGA TOUR in total contributions. The John Deere Classic, which includes Birdies for Charity, is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization located in the John Deere Classic tournament offices at 15623 Coaltown Road, East Moline, Illinios. Since its founding in 1971, the tournament has helped raise $38 million for charity.
Deere & Company (NYSE: DE) is a world leader in providing advanced products and services and is committed to the success of those whose work is linked to the land – those who cultivate, harvest, transform, enrich and build upon the land to meet the world's dramatically increasing need for food, fuel, shelter and infrastructure. Since 1837, John Deere has delivered innovative products of superior quality built on a tradition of integrity. For more information, visit John Deere at its worldwide website at www.JohnDeere.com.