MOLINE, Illinois -- The John Deere Classic is getting pretty good at breaking its own records - and more than 500 charities in our area are getting a big boost because of it.
On Thursday, October 31st, 2019, leaders of the nonprofit golf tournament announced how much was raised in 2019 through the Birdies for Charity Program. The total - $13.8 million - breaks 2018's record of nearly $13.5 million.
2018's record broke 2017's record of nearly $12.3 million raised. In 2017, the JDC broke 2016's record of $10.5 million. Do you see the trend here? It's the reason why the John Deere Classic continuously receives the Most Engaged Community Award from the PGA Tour.
The Birdies for Charity Program is the fundraising arm of the JDC and represents more than 500 charities in our area. Those charities receive checks based on the number of individual pledges made to their group, as well as another check signifying the Bonus Fund that is spread around to all the charities involved based on the amount of money the tournament raised.
It doesn't look like the JDC and Birdies for Charity Program are slowing down anytime soon. Both the tournament and its charitable arm have grown immensely over the last 10 years, thanks to strong support from the Quad Cities and its very committed sponsor - Deere and Company.
SAVE THE DATE: The 50th John Deere Classic takes place July 6th through 12th, 2020 at TPC Deere Run. WQAD News 8 is the official station of the John Deere Classic every year.
CAR GIVEAWAY: The other exciting portion of this day takes place after the big announcement. Whoever guessed the correct number of birdies shot at this year's tournament gets the chance to take home a Lexus from Lexus of the Quad Cities. This year, five people were eligible to win the 2-year lease. The winners are Bill and Catherine Litwinow, who say they have been giving to Birdies for Charity since the beginning:
"We live in this community and it's done so much for us, it's kinda fun to give back," said Catherine.
The Litwinows gave to a number of charities this year, including Quilts of Valor, Habitat for Humanity, Rock Island County Historical Society, and the German American Heritage Center.