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John Deere Classic Raises $12.5 million with Birdies for Charity

Despite pandemic restrictions, donors gave $12.5 million dollars to the 50th Annual Birdies for Charity this year. That's the third highest amount raised during the program's history.

This morning, John Deere Classic Volunteer Chair Lee Garlach announced the grand total at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline.

"It's safe to say this was a different year for us, but what didn't change was our commitment to charity and our commitment to the Birdies for Charity program."

Each of the program's 470 participating charities organization will also receive an 8% bonus from the tournament's bonus fund, thanks to the Deere Foundation's matching grant. That's the biggest bonus since 2018.

Despite the tournament being cancelled in 2020, Birdies raised $12.2 million dollars. And since its inception in 1971, the Quad Cities tournament has raised more than $145 million. The John Deere Foundation pays for administrative costs, so all donations go directly to the nonprofits.

Next year, the tournament will celebrate its 50th anniversary from June 27th through July 3rd, a few weeks earlier than usual.

WVIK participates in Birdies for Charity and benefits from the program and the classic's bonus fund.

Aaryan Balu first set foot in audio journalism at WTJU Charlottesville and WRIR Richmond, and now works as WVIK Quad Cities NPR's Fellowship Host.