Published on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Media Contact: Annie Oeth
Century Club Charities may host the state’s only PGA TOUR event, but its mission is to help in the construction of a new seven-story children’s tower adjacent to Batson Children’s Hospital.
The record-setting $1.2 million gift from Century Club Charities to Friends of Children’s Hospital from the Sanderson Farms Championship will do just that.
“We strive to excel,” said Jeff Hubbard, Century Club Charities president, “but our metric is different from other tournaments on the PGA TOUR. We measure excellence by the total funds raised for Friends of Children’s Hospital each year.”
This year’s donation exceeded the $1.125 million raised in 2016, the $1.109 million raised in 2015 and the $1.102 million raised in 2014. The 2013 tournament, the first year Sanderson Farms was the title sponsor, raised more than $500,000 for Friends.
In all, more than $5.5 million has been donated to Mississippi’s only children’s hospital since tournament host Century Club Charities announced Sanderson Farms as the tournament’s title sponsor.
“’Wow’ is all I can say,” said Sidney Allen, Friends of Children’s Hospital board chairman. “Joe Sanderson (Sanderson Farms CEO and board chairman) told us the amount donated from the tournament would grow every year.”
In 2016, Friends of Children’s Hospital pledged $20 million to the Campaign for Children’s of Mississippi, the philanthropic drive to help fund construction of the seven-story children’s tower. Sanderson and his wife, Kathy Sanderson, chair the campaign and launched it with a personal $10 million donation.
The tower will be home to 88 private neonatal intensive care rooms, 10 additional operating rooms, more pediatric intensive care space, a pediatric imaging center, a specialty clinic and a new lobby. The Children’s Heart Center, representing the Medical Center’s pediatric cardiovascular program, also will call the new building home.
Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairsand dean of the School of Medicine
Ground was broken Dec. 1, 2017 on the 340,000-square-foot tower, set to open in August 2020.
“You can feel the passion, can’t you?” Dr. LouAnn Woodward, UMMC vice chancellor for health affairs, asked those assembled for the check presentation after Hubbard and Allen spoke about children’s health. She said Century Club Charities, Sanderson Farms, the Sanderson Farms Championship and Friends of Children’s Hospital “have been key partners with us in helping us see a dream come true.”
The golf tournament brings an economic impact of more than $26 million to the region each year, Hubbard said. During its four days, the tournament is broadcast to a potential worldwide audience of more than 330 million, he said.
Century Club Charities will host the North Mississippi Classic, a golf tournament on the Web.com tour, April 16-22 at the Country Club of Oxford. The 2018 Sanderson Farms Championship is scheduled for Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 25-28, at the Country Club of Jackson.
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