GRAND BLANC TWP. — Despite the absence of fans and other challenges brought on by COVID- 19, Ally Challenge organizers came up with new ways to raise funds for local charities in Genesee County and southeastern Michigan.
One of this year’s new charity avenues included the inaugural Ally Challenge online auction from July 20 to Aug. 2. The auction featured a variety of entertainment packages and memorabilia and allowed local and nationals fans to engage with the tournament and give back to causes supported by the Ally Challenge.
Ally made cheering possible at the fan-less tournament with a first-ever virtual gallery. Fans were able to submit videos of their wildest cheering to #allyRowdyGallery to celebrate the 17th hole at Warwick Hills, which is famous for having one of the rowdiest galleries in professional golf.
For every cheer video submission, Ally donated $10 to the United Way of Genesee County—one of the tournament’s main beneficiaries.
Jamie Gaskin, CEO of the United Way of Genesee County, said that his organization is thankful for the innovative fundraising tools that were instituted by the tournament and its corporate sponsors.
“Not having fans at the tournament created a unique challenge for fundraising, but we are grateful for our corporate partners who continued to activate charitable giving,” he said. “The money we receive will help us to boost local programs and give people a path toward economic independence and financial stability.”
Funds were also raised through the Ally Logo Challenge contest, in which Pro-Am players had an opportunity to take a shot at an Ally Trademark (a large “A” logo) on the 17th hole. Ally donated $1,000 to the United Way of Genesee County for each shot that landed inside the mark.
The Ally Challenge also continued its Birdies for Charity program, which gives multiple Michigan 501(c)(3) charities the opportunity to raise additional funds and benefit from the number of birdies made by PGA Champions Tour players during competitive rounds of the Ally Challenge.
Each participating charity solicited pledges per “birdie” or flat donations to their organization through the Birdies for Charity program. In turn, Birdies for Charity provided a guaranteed 10 percent match for the donations raised by the participating organizations, helping to leverage more dollars for the non-profits.
2020 Birdies for Charity participants included: Ascension Genesys Foundation; Career Dress; Dominican Literacy Center; Family Promise of Genesee County; Food Bank of Eastern Michigan; Genesee County Habitat for Humanity; Golf Association of Michigan Foundation; Grand Blanc Athletic Foundation; Grand Blanc Gladiators; Junior Achievement of Southeastern Michigan; McKennassquad Beauty Bar; Pink ParTee of Warwick Hills; The Bottomless Toy Chest; United Way of Genesee County; Whaley Children’s Center; and Winning Futures.
To see a complete list of the Ally Challenge’s charity initiatives, visit theallychallenge.com. Fundraising totals for the 3rd Annual Ally Challenge will be released later this fall.