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Birdies for Charity Kicks Off

People in Illinois and Iowa will soon see yellow and green flyers in their mailboxes and around the Quad Cities. On Monday, Birdies for Charity kicked off its annual fundraiser at John Deere headquarters in Moline.

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
John Deere Classic Tournament Director, Claire Peterson, talks to officials from many nonprofit organizations about Birdies for Charity.

Clair Peterson, Tournament Director of the John Deere Classic, says last year, donations to Birdies for Charity totaled a record $13.4 million, increasing the organization's overall total above $100 million for the first time. 

More than 530 nonprofits benefit from money raised during the PGA Tour competition.

People may pledge one penny per birdie scored during the tournament, or give a certain amount. 

Credit Michelle O'Neill / WVIK News
Kristy Ketcham-Jackson, Director of Birdies for Charity, jokes with board members.

Kristy Ketcham-Jackson, Director of Birdies for Charity, says last year the John Deere Foundation provided an 8% percent bonus.

A 5% bonus is guaranteed for this year. 

The Birdies for Charity Bonus Fund includes tournament revenue, plus contributions from the John Deere Foundation and others.

The foundation also pays for all administrative costs, so all donations go directly to the nonprofits.

Officially, Michelle's title for 28 years was WVIK News Editor. She did everything there is to do in the newsroom and whatever was needed around the radio station. She also served as Acting News Director from September 2023 - January 2024.
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