FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 6, 2023
Health Foundations receive donation from Memorial Health Championship,
Visit Springfield to provide free admission for 2023
SPRINGFIELD, IL –Memorial Health’s five hospital foundations will receive approximately $85,000 from the proceeds of the 2022 Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS, tournament officials and sponsors announced Thursday.
Kate Peters, the tournament’s executive director, made the donation announcement during a ceremony at Panther Creek Country Club, which hosts the annual Korn Ferry Tour event.
“The 2022 tournament was a great success, and we expect it to grow even more this year,” Peters said. “We’re thrilled to host an event that provides an exciting entertainment option for golf fans, and also generates a positive charitable impact on our community.”
“Interest in the tournament and golf in general is at an all-time high,” Peters continued. “We were thrilled to see our 2021 Champion, Taylor Moore get his first win on the PGA TOUR recently and earn a coveted spot in the Masters, taking place this week. The path to the PGA TOUR truly does come through Springfield”
Aimee Daily, PhD, senior vice president and chief transformation officer for Memorial Health, said the tournament’s donation will have a significant positive impact for the local communities where Memorial’s five hospitals are located. The donation will be divided equally among the five foundations that serve Springfield, Decatur, Jacksonville, Lincoln and Taylorville.
"Memorial Health is proud to be a part of this tournament, which builds strong communities through local partnerships and charitable giving, while bringing fans and sponsors together for a first-class event that showcases the future stars of the PGA Tour," Daily said. "The donations to our five hospitals' foundations will support our colleagues and patients, furthering our mission to improve lives and build stronger communities through better health."
Randa Freeze-Rhea, an American Sign Language interpreter, has received support from the Jacksonville Memorial Foundation to pursue a master’s degree in health care interpreting from the Rochester Institute of Technology. Freeze-Rhea described how the advanced degree will enable her to provide more specialized interpreting, such as for mental health issues or more complicated terminology.
“The Foundation’s support has been wonderful,” said Freeze-Rhea, who joined Memorial Health in 2021. “I appreciate having this assistance for education that will expand my ability to provide excellent patient care.”
Scott Dahl, director of Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau, also noted the event’s economic impact.
“Visit Springfield recognizes the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS as a summer destination event,” Dahl said. “The Korn Ferry Tour stop at Panther Creek Country Club drives countless hotel room nights and has generated millions of dollars for the Springfield economy since 2016. We’re pleased to offer the public the chance to enjoy this event for free.”
Other tournament sponsors also praised the tournament’s positive community impact.
“We love sharing our hometown with these up-and-coming golfers, and feel it is a privilege to watch them at this stage in their career,” said Greg Matthews, chief operating officer, Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc. “The impact the tournament has in our community and for local charities makes us so honored to be part of this event.”
Ryan McCrady, president and CEO of Springfield Sangamon Growth Alliance, praised the tournament as a signature event that contributes to an outstanding quality of life in our community. “It gives our community an opportunity to show visitors all it has to offer as a destination to live, work and play,” McCrady said.
Official rounds for the tournament run from June 29 to July 2. Practice rounds, GAMEDAY presented by CEFCU, the Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois Ladies Pro-Am, and the LRS Pro-Am will occur from June 26-28.
For more information, including sponsorship, ticket sales or to register to volunteer, visit MemorialHealthChampionship.com or call (217)670-2910.
About the Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS
The Memorial Health Championship presented by LRS, a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event on the Korn Ferry Tour, is conducted annually at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Illinois. This four-day, 72-hole competition features 156 players from around the world vying for a total purse of $1,000,000. Since the inaugural year in 2016, the tournament has continued to grow with an expected economic impact of over five million dollars on the central Illinois region.
About the Korn Ferry Tour
Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops golf's next stars, preparing them to compete and win on the game's biggest stage. The Korn Ferry Tour, which has served as a path to the PGA TOUR since its inception, will award 30 PGA TOUR cards based off its points list in 2023, with the No. 1 player earning exemptions into the following year’s PLAYERS Championship and U.S. Open. With more than 600 PGA TOUR titles, 28 major championships and six FedExCup champions, Korn Ferry Tour alumni make up 88 percent of the PGA TOUR’s current membership. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for PGA TOUR cards, visit PGATOUR.COM or follow the Korn Ferry Tour on social media.
Six Korn Ferry Tour events are televised annually on GOLF Channel in the United States, with tournament programming also available via 22 linear TV partners in 170-plus countries and territories. Over 80 hours of live coverage is available in 130-plus countries and territories. Programming is also available via the OTT platform GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR in every market outside of the United States (185-plus countries and territories), excluding Australia, China, Korea, and Russia.