GRAND BLANC TWP. — Despite limitations brought on by the COVID- 19 pandemic, the 2020 Ally Challenge still raised impressive fundraising totals to help support local charities.
Officials with the Ally Challenge presented by McLaren announced that this year’s PGA Champions Tour golf tournament, which was held at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club from July 29 to Aug. 2, raised $801,563 for charitable organizations in southeastern Michigan. The total includes $363,690 that was raised for the tournament’s primary beneficiary, the United Way of Genesee County.
With fans unable to attend this year’s tournament because of the coronavirus, Ally utilized several creative fundraising promotions to bolster donation numbers, including the inaugural Ally Challenge virtual auction and the Ally logo challenge.
During the tournament Pro-Am, players could take a shot at an Ally Trademark (a large “A” logo) on the 17th hole. For each shot that landed inside the mark, Ally donated $1,000 to the United Way of Genesee County.
Ally also introduced the first-ever virtual Rowdy Gallery to celebrate Warwick Hills’ legendary 17th Hole, giving fans the chance to submit videos of themselves cheering from home. For every cheer video submission, Ally donated $10 to the United Way of Genesee County.
“We had a ton of social media engagement from the Rowdy Gallery and hundreds of videos were sent in,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer for Ally. “Fans and players had a blast with it.”
The Ally Challenge’s Birdies for Charity program also raised $388,673, thanks to 866 birdies recorded by PGA TOUR Champions players during competitive rounds. Altogether, 13 qualified Michigan 501(c)(3) charities participated in the Birdies for Charity program in 2020, and more than 20 charities were impacted by the tournament fundraising.
Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County, said that the tournament’s philanthropic aims will help support over 18 programs in Genesee County, impacting more than 5,000 individuals through the priority areas of financial literacy, housing and employment.
“For us, the tournament’s success translates into our ability to maintain service levels for more than a dozen local projects during a trying time when resources are scarce,” he said. “This gift is critical to our collective ability to provide more than 100,000 helping moments that lift families across Flint and Genesee County.”
Since its inception in 2018, The Ally Challenge presented by McLaren has donated a total of nearly $3.2 million in support of local charities in the greater Flint area and beyond.
In addition to releasing fundraising totals, Ally Challenge officials announced that award-winning country music group Little Big Town will headline the annual 2021 Community Concert presented by Ally. The concert will take place on the driving range at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club on Aug. 28, following the second round of competition at the 2021 Ally Challenge. Access to Community Concert will only be offered via the purchase of a valid tournament ticket.
“Little Big Town is one of country music’s most dynamic and captivating bands and we can’t wait for them to join us for the Community Concert presented by Ally in 2021,” said Brimmer. “We’re planning to be back next year, better than ever, which in turn allows us to give back even more to this community.”
The 2021 Ally Challenge itself will take place at Warwick Hills Golf & Country Club from Aug. 23-29. All three rounds of the tournament will be broadcast on Golf Channel.
Tickets for next year’s tournament are now on sale at theallychallenge.com. Special introductory pricing and best offers will be available through Dec. 15.