On June 1-5, central Iowans will welcome some of the world’s best golfers to the Principal Charity Classic, our community’s premier charitable sports event.

It’s more than just a world-class sports event—each year, the event’s proceeds are donated to central Iowa nonprofits and charities. United Way of Central Iowa is proud to be one of the event’s “FORE Our Kids” charities. Last year, the Tournament contributed more than $100,000 each to United Way; Blank Children’s Hospital;  Bravo;  the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines; and Variety, the Children’s Charity.

In addition, more than 100 organizations receive donations through the Birdies for Charity program.

In the nine years Principal has sponsored this Champions Tour event, more than $7.7 million has been donated to local organizations.  That generosity has led to the Principal Charity Classic’s recognition as the top charitable event on the Champions Tour—the highest level of professional golf for golfers over age 50.

As a beneficiary of this event, United Way seeks to invest these dollars into a youth-focused program that will have a lasting impact on our community. That’s why, again this year, the Classic will support the United Way Summer Youth Employment Program.

This program provides real-world summer jobs, workplace skills and financial training and college tours for youth age 14-18. In 2015, 119 youth participated in the program through United Way’s partners Oakridge Neighborhood Services and the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families.

Students engaged in specifically tailored experiences to help them understand the link between academic achievement and future career aspirations. They also gained the skills needed to find and keep a job and achieve basic financial literacy, and the value of giving back to their community through service learning projects.

According to Evelyn K. Davis Center director Marvin DeJear, the youth in this program—many of them minorities from low-income households—have limited employment options. The Summer Youth Employment Program provided their first real jobs, and they learn valuable workplace skills that will last a lifetime, with benefits that will resonate for generations to come.

What you can do:  Support the Summer Youth Employment Program (or another of your favorite nonprofit program) by making a pledge at the Principal Charity Classic Birdies for Charity website.

TAGS: Education, Income

Mary Sellers

About The Author: Mary Sellers

Mary Sellers is the President of United Way of Central Iowa. As the organization’s chief executive she leads United Way’s strategies to achieve substantive community impact in the priority areas of education, income and health to improve lives and build a stronger central Iowa. She joined United Way in February 2012 with a 20-year track record of leadership and success in nonprofit and community organizations.