Six high-tech companies from the Los Angeles area and beyond have joined forces this week to help fight inner-city poverty by sponsoring a viewing and reception area at the L.A. Open PGA Champions golf tourney.
The sponsors are IBM Tivoli and IBM Business Partners AVNET, Azaleos, Brocade, VMware, and Key Information Systems that is spearheading the effort. The tournament runs Feb. 14-18 at the Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades.
"All have contributed towards the funds we are raising to support the First Tee of Los Angeles, one of the community service programs supported by the LAJCC," said Pete Elliot, director of marketing for Key Information Systems, an IBM Premium Business Partner.
As an official tournament sponsor, Key has raised more than $35,000 for the venerable charity event, the oldest civic-sponsored event on the PGA TOUR and started in 1926 by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce (LAJCC). It is the third year that Key has been an event sponsor, and the company continues to attract high-tech co-sponsors each year.
The tournament held, at the Riviera Country Club, is one of the most respected and revered tournaments on the PGA Champions TOUR schedule, attracting many of the best professional players in the world of golf. This year's Northern Trust Open, as it is called (the name changes depending upon sponsorship-last year it was the Nissan Open) has an impressive roster. It includes eight of the top 10 players (17 of the top 20) including returning winner from last year Charles Howell III, as well as golf stars Vejay Singh, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott, and Robert Allenby. Only Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Henrik Stenson will be absent from the event.
"We chose the 17th Green Panorama Suite to sponsor because it offers a unique view of the 17th hole as well as Riviera's historic 18th hole tee box," said Elliot, an accomplished golfer. "The 17th hole at the Riviera Country Club is the longest hole on the course, requiring two long shots to put players in position for a possible birdie."
Proceeds from the Northern Trust Open will be used by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce in fulfilling its mission to serve the Los Angeles community by funding charitable programs including the First Tee of Los Angeles, Safe Passage Tennis, Riordan Volunteer Leadership Program, Foster Family Picnic, and the Los Angeles Watts Summer Games. Charity proceeds from all PGA TOUR events reached the $1 billion mark in 2006.
As a systems integrator, Key Information Systems provides IT infrastructure and systems architecture solutions that focus on virtualization, security, server consolidation, storage management and business continuity. The company's employees have taken an active part in recruiting other member of the IT community to participate in this year's event. "If you look around the tourney, you see IBM providing the very sophisticated scoring, five major IT vendor sponsors in our tent, and many other well-known companies as sponsors," observed Elliot. "This should help to put the kibosh on the old notion that IT companies aren't major participants in charity fundraisers. If you've got it, you owe it to your local community to share it," said Elliot.
Last year the L.A. PGA Champions tourney generated more than $1.9 million for philanthropic causes. Since its inception, the L.A. Open, and succeeding events, have generated more than $50 million for philanthropic projects and programs within Southern California. This makes it one of the most productive fund raisers for local community programs in the United States.
Lief Morin, president of Key, said, "The community benefits that the L.A. Junior Chamber provides through funds from this PGA event are outstanding and provide us with an opportunity to give back to the local community. This event follows on the heels of a long list of charitable activities in which our employees have participated and look forward to each year."
Many of the greatest names in the world of professional golf have been crowned champion at the L.A. Open event since its inception in the 1920s by the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce. Past champions include Sam Snead (1945, score 283), Byron Nelson (1946, score 284), Ben Hogan (1948, score 275), Arnold Palmer (1963, score 274), Billy Casper (1968, score 274), Tom Watson (1980, score 276), Johnny Miller (1981, score 270), Fred Couples (1992, score 269), Craig Stadler (1996, score 278), Nick Faldo (1997, score 272) and Ernie Els (1999, score 272).
About Key Information Systems, Inc.
About PGA TOUR
The PGA TOUR is a tax-exempt membership organization of professional golfers. The mission of the PGA TOUR is to expand domestically and internationally so as to substantially increase player financial benefits while maintaining its commitment to the integrity of the game. Major championships include Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, the British Open, and PGA Championship. In addition to providing competitive opportunities for its membership, PGA TOUR events also generate revenue for charitable causes in their communities. PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, and Nationwide Tour events have generated more than $1 billion for charity since 1938. The current PGA TOUR Commissioner is Timothy W. Finchem, holding the office since 1994. PGA TOUR Headquarters is located at 112 PGA TOUR Boulevard, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida 32082. Telephone: 904-285-3700. Visit the Website at http://www.pgatour.com/.
About the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce (LAJCC) is to serve the community by providing innovative projects and programs which benefit at-risk youth. The LAJCC achieves its mission through the volunteer efforts of its membership of young professionals. LAJCC programs serve 15,000 youth annually and provide athletic, arts and educational opportunities which encourage integrity and self-esteem. Sports programs include: L.A. Watts Summer Games, Safe Passage Tennis Program, and Urban Youth Golf Program. Community service projects include: Ready To Learn Literacy Project, Foster Family Picnic, and Children's Hospital Art Project. The LAJCC Foundation supports youth seeking higher education and awards more than $50,000 in scholarships annually. For further information, visit http://www.lajcc.org/.