GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Building on an exciting tournament last summer, attendance increased during the second annual Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft with nearly 50,000 spectators participating in the weeklong events. The tournament, which named American LPGA professional Lexi Thompson as tournament champion, generated $750,000 for the Meijer Simply Give program to restock the shelves of Midwest food pantries.
While attendance at the four-day tournament was similar to last year, participation in the various community events that appealed to foodies, runners, families and music lovers rose more than 50 percent. Attendance at the Meijer LPGA Classic Junior Clinic presented by Johnson & Johnson saw a threefold increase alone.
"We are dedicated to making the Meijer LPGA Classic an event the community can stand behind, and one that will have a longstanding impact," Meijer President J.K. Symancyk said. "This event continues to exceed our expectations, and we cannot thank the community enough for their continued support."
The Meijer LPGA Classic featured a full field of world-class golfers playing 72 holes of stroke play July 23-26 at Blythefield Country Club. Tournament week also featured various community events, including a celebrity chef event, 5k run and walk, concert and three junior clinics.
The driving mission of the tournament is focused on feeding the hungry through the retailer's Simply Give program, which restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. Over the past two years, the Meijer LPGA Classic generated more than $1.3 million for food pantries in the communities it serves. Additionally, a typical LPGA Tour has an economic impact of up to $6 million in the community in which it's held.
Meijer began its Simply Give program in November 2008 and has since generated more than $16 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions donated as a result of the Meijer LPGA Classic are due, in large part, to the generous spectators who attended the tournament week events, and the sponsor who helped make the event a success.
The $750,000 donation will be spread across the retailer's estimated 200 food pantry partners participating in the fall Simply Give campaign, which runs through Sept. 12.
To participate in the Simply Give program, customers can purchase a $10 donation card at their local Meijer store, which will be converted into a Meijer food-only gift card and given to the food pantry selected by the store. Meijer will stretch every customer's donation further during Double Match Days Sept. 3-5 in recognition of Hunger Action Month. That means for every $10 donation card purchase, Meijer will contribute $20, resulting in a total $30 donation.
To view a video recapping this year's Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft, please visit http://newsroom.meijer.com/meijer-lpga-classic-forehunger.
Lesley Baker, Tournament Director, Octagon
Lesley.Baker@octagon.com or 616-426-6225
Christina Fecher, Public Relations Manager, Meijer
Christina.Fecher@meijer.com or 616-735-7968
About Meijer Simply Give
Meijer is a family-owned retailer based in Grand Rapids, Mich. with a fundamental philosophy aimed at strengthening the communities it serves. Meijer operates more than 200 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin, and proudly donates more than 6 percent of its net profit each year to charities throughout the Midwest. With hunger as a corporate philanthropic focus, Meijer partners with hundreds of food banks and pantries through its Simply Give and food rescue programs. Meijer also supports education, disaster relief, and health and wellness initiatives. For additional information on Meijer philanthropy, please visit meijercommunity.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter @twitter.com/Meijer and @twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.
About Blythefield Country Club
Located just north of Grand Rapids, Blythefield has been providing families the best golf and social experience in West Michigan since 1928. With the Rogue River flowing through, Blythefield boasts one of the most beautiful championship layouts in Michigan. Previously, Blythefield has hosted the 1953 Western Amateur, the 1961 Western Open, won by Arnold Palmer, and the 2005 Western Junior won by Rickie Fowler. In 2014, Blythefield hosted the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic presented by Kraft. Learn more about Blythefield Country Club at www.blythefieldcc.org.
About the LPGA (Ladies Professional Golf Association)
The LPGA is the world's leading professional golf organization for women. Founded in 1950, the association celebrates a diverse and storied membership with more than 2,300 members representing more than 30 different countries. With a Vision to inspire, empower, educate and entertain by showcasing the very best of women's golf, LPGA Tour Professionals compete across the globe, while dedicated LPGA Teaching and Club Professionals (T&CP) directly impact the game through teaching, coaching and management. The Symetra Tour consistently produces a pipeline of talent ready for the world stage. The LPGA is headquartered in Daytona Beach, Florida. Follow the LPGA on its television home, Golf Channel, and on the web via: www.LPGA.com, www.facebook.com/lpga, https://twitter.com/LPGA, and www.youtube.com/lpgavideo.
About Octagon Global Events
Octagon Global Events is a division of Octagon, the world's largest sports and entertainment representation and marketing agency. Octagon Global Events focuses on premium event/property management, providing strategic corporate solutions. The division currently manages two Champions Tour events, two LPGA Tour events and the Toyota Texas Bass Classic. For more information, visit http://www.octagonglobalevents.com.
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