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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Champions Tour announced today that Children’s of Alabama, the primary charitable beneficiary of the Regions Tradition at Shoal Creek, has been named the 2011 Champions Tour Charity of the Year.
Champions Tour President Mike Stevens presented the award to Mike Warren, Chief Executive Officer at Children’s of Alabama, during a function in the lobby of Children’s.
It was also announced that $767,988 raised during the Regions Tradition will benefit 128 charities in metro Birmingham area. A significant proportion of the proceeds went to Children’s of Alabama as the tournament’s primary charitable beneficiary as well as the American National Red Cross Tornado Disaster Relief efforts in Alabama.
"The recognition received by Children’s of Alabama as our Charity of the Year is richly deserved in light of their efforts in continually assisting families in Alabama, particularly following the tornados that devastated the area immediately before the Regions Tradition this year,” said Stevens. “Their involvement within the community, and with the tournament, typifies one of our core values that together, anything is possible."
Children's of Alabama is the only hospital in the state dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children.
“For a hundred years or more Children’s has been there in the time of need,” said Warren. “The tornados that went through Alabama in April resulted in children from all over this state being referred to us for care. In many ways, it was our finest hour. It takes a team to make things work and that’s exactly what happened during the storms.”
”Regions has a history of supporting the communities where we live and work,” said Bill Horton, Regions North Central Alabama Area President. “Our partnership with the Champions Tour has given us a unique opportunity to strengthen that support and contribute significantly to Children’s and other local charities. The Regions Tradition is a wonderful example of how an event recognizes the importance of giving back and we take comfort knowing we are helping those in need.”
On Wednesday afternoon of this year’s tournament week, Champions Tour professionals Mark Calcavecchia and Russ Cochran, along with their wives Brenda and Jackie, visited Children’s to interact with some of the patients, including several tornado victims. The foursome also delivered handmade quilts, generously provided by www.quiltsforkids.org, to the young patients.
Just one week earlier, on April 27, it had been the busiest night in Children’s 100-year history. In addition to its usual capacity, Children’s had received 60 trauma patients from that night’s brutal storms. Nineteen of those patients were still admitted when the Champions Tour stars tried to bring a little joy into their lives. Of the patients Children’s received from tornado-related injuries, most were life-threatening Level I traumas, meaning Children’s was the only place in the state where these children could receive that level of specialized care. The hospital received patients from at least 13 counties in Alabama. Many staff members reported to the hospital during the storms themselves in order to help these patients.
A new $400 million expansion is scheduled to open in August of 2012, which will provide 50 more beds, bringing the total to 332 beds. The expansion will feature a cardio-vascular facility, which means patients needing heart surgery will no longer have to be transported to a different location for surgery.
“As a longtime member of the TOUR, we get to do some fun things, and to me, the trip to Children’s was one of those things,” said Cochran, reflecting on his visit. “I’d like to congratulate them on the Champions Tour Charity of the Year award. It really is a thoroughly deserved honor. My wife and I still talk about our visit with the kids at Children’s. We went hoping to help out, and we left inspired.”
As recipient of the 2011 Champions Tour Charity of the Year, Children’s of Alabama will receive $30,000 for their Impact Fund to assist with special, emergency situations. The Impact Fund enables Children's to immediately get what they need without having to reduce expenses in other critical areas.
While the Regions Tradition, the first major championship of the 2011 season won by Tom Lehman at Shoal Creek in Birmingham, Ala., donated the majority of all charitable dollars to Children’s, other charitable funds were also distributed to assist with the tornado disaster relief efforts.
Regions Financial, the Champions Tour and other organizations assisted the local community via the American National Red Cross Tornado Disaster Relief Fund. Fans and the community pulled together to generate online donations for those affected. Champions Tour professionals donated truckloads of clothes and supplies to tornado victims and several players made visits to towns heavily affected by the storms. Charles Barkley, who snapped his driver as he teed off during the pro-am, auctioned off his autographed driver to benefit the Fund. Signs were posted at concession areas, merchandise tents and at the admission gate requesting spectators to consider adding funds to their purchase to contribute to relief efforts.
The 2012 Regions Tradition will be held June 6-10 at Shoal Creek. Tickets are available at www.regionstradition.com.
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About The Champions Tour
Collectively, the Champions Tour has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game with many of its 29 members of the World Golf Hall of Fame competing regularly in its events and numerous other major championship winners among its members. The Champions Tour is a membership organization of professional golfers age 50 and older. Conceived in 1980 as the Senior PGA Tour, it started with just four events and purses totaling $475,000. Points earned in official Charles Schwab Cup events in 2011 determined Tom Lehman as the Charles Schwab Cup champion, the season-long competition designed to recognize the Champions Tour’s leading player. The Champions Tour's primary purpose is to provide financial opportunities for its players, entertain and inspire its fans, deliver substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give back, protect the integrity of the game and generate significant charitable and economic impact in communities in which it plays. In 2011, tournaments on all three Tours (PGA TOUR, Champions Tour and Nationwide Tour) generated more than $118 million for local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of charitable contributions to more than $1.7 billion. The Commissioner of the PGA TOUR is Tim Finchem. Mike Stevens is President of the Champions Tour. The PGA TOUR’s website is www.pgatour.com, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.
About Children’s of Alabama
Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children and is one of the 10 busiest pediatric medical centers in the nation. It is a private, not-for-profit hospital that serves as the primary site of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs. Ten of its divisions – pulmonology, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, neonatology, cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology—are ranked in the Top 50 Children’s Hospital Programs by US News & World Report. For more information, visit www.childrensal.org, facebook.com/childrenshospitalofalabama or twitter.com/ChildrensAL.
About Regions Financial Corporation
Regions Financial Corporation, with $130 billion in assets, is a member of the S&P 500 Index and is one of the nation's largest full-service providers of consumer and commercial banking, trust, securities brokerage, mortgage and insurance products and services. Regions serves customers in 16 states across the South, Midwest and Texas, and through its subsidiary, Regions Bank, operates approximately 1,800 banking offices and over 2,100 ATMs. Its investment and securities brokerage trust and asset management division, Morgan Keegan & Company Inc., provides services from over 300 offices. Additional information about Regions and its full line of products and services can be found at http://www.regions.com.
About Shoal Creek
Shoal Creek is a Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, which was established in 1977. It is located in Shelby County, some 15 miles from downtown Birmingham, Ala. Shoal Creek has hosted the 1984 and 1990 PGA Championships as well as the 1986 United States Amateur Championship.
Director, Communications, Champions Tour