The Tucson Conquistadores, the local civic organization and tournament management team that oversees operations and sales for the PGA TOUR Champions’ Cologuard Classic, has announced that $617,600 was raised for local Southern Arizona charities from the 2021 Cologuard Classic golf tournament and Conquistador-led fundraising programs.
The Cologuard Classic was played Feb. 21-28 at Omni Tucson National Resort and featured an 81-player field competing for a $1.7 million purse with $255,000 and 255 Charles Schwab Cup points going to winner Kevin Sutherland.
The tournament’s charitable efforts were heavily focused on raising awareness for colorectal cancer and the importance of early screening and detection. A number of programs surrounded the week from a Caboose Cup Am-Am presented by Tucson Appliance Company, the inaugural year of the Birdies for Charity program, and a Celebrity Challenge featuring Larry Fitzgerald, Richard Dent, Pudge Rodriguez, Brice Butler and Marcus Allen. Colorectal cancer-related charities such as the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Fight Colorectal Cancer, the Colon Cancer Coalition, and the El Rio Foundation were just a few of the many charities to receive donations during tournament week.
In addition, fans who purchased tickets to the tournament had the option of a full refund, rolling the credit over for tickets to the 2022 Cologuard Classic, or donating the funds to First Tee of Tucson or The Tucson Conquistadores Foundation. Additional contributing funds include the Conquistador’s “Operation I’m In” sales campaign which directly benefitted charitable programs at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. As a result of the tournament’s efforts and additional Conquistador fundraising programs, more than 75 local organizations received charitable donations, including the Special Olympics, Sporting Chance, YMCA, First Tee Tucson, Youth Impact and Amphi Foundation. The Conquistadores hope to grow the number of benefitting charities in 2022.
“Raising more than $617,000 for local charities during the height of the pandemic is quite an accomplishment,” said Tucson Conquistadores President Joe Wittmann. “With spectators limited to less than 200 per day during the 2021 Cologuard Classic and zero hospitality suites on course, we were forced to get creative. Despite the COVID-curveballs we faced in planning the 2021 tournament, Conquistador leadership remained committed to supporting our local youth through charitable sports programs, while concurrently promoting colorectal cancer research and advocacy.”
The Tucson Conquistadores, Inc. is a nonprofit organized for the purpose of supporting local youth and special needs amateur athletics primarily in Southern Arizona, with an emphasis on offering life enhancing opportunities to give back to our local community. The Conquistadores has made a difference in thousands of individual lives. Over $36 million has been raised for youth programs.
“The Conquistadores would like to encourage local charities who may not have heard about our programs to become more engaged in the application process,” said Conquistador Bobby Verenna, the 2022 Funding Committee Chairman. “We want to help as many Southern Arizona charities as possible.”
The Conquistadores review funding requests from organizations, clubs and individuals and determine contributions on a monthly basis. For more information on charitable funding and how to apply for a grant visit the Tucson Conquistadores’ website at www.tucsonconquistadores.com/funding-info-application.