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Birdies for Charity Takes Off

Michelle O'Neill

Nonprofits and other agencies are busy asking people to learn one golf term, even if they're not fans. This morning at Deere & Co. World Headquarters, the John Deere Classic kicked off the 2015 Birdies for Charity program. Each year, people pledge to donate to nearly 500 charities in northwestern Illinois and eastern Iowa. Most base the amount they give on the number of birdies golfers score during the annual PGA tournament in Silvis.

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Birdies for Charity Director, Kristy Ketcham Jackson

Last year, donations totaled $6.3 million. And Director Kristy Ketcham Jackson says after the tournament is over, the John Deere Foundation adds more money.
One of the nonprofits that benefited from last year's bonus was the Pleasant Valley Schools Educational Foundation. Dave Borcherdingis the president of the foundation.

The foundation received a $25,000 donation through Birdies for Charity, and the 10% bonus was a "nice little plus."
Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Al Nordstrom, Treasurer of the Milan Christian Food Pantry

Al Nordstrom, Treasurer of the Milan Christian Food Pantry, says his group will participate in Birdies for Charity for the first time this year.

The pantry is always looking for ways to raise money. It serves 250 families, and that's an ongoing cost.

Since the pro golf tournament was first held in the Quad Cities in 1971, Birdies for Charity has helped raise $62 million. The John Deere Classic is set for July 6-12 at TPC Deere Run in Silvis. 

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