Blythefield Country Club in Belmont features an 18 hole, 6,859-yard course. Photo via fb.com
The company that helped the West Michigan Sports Commission bring the Michigan Summer Games and Winter Games here is taking to the golf course in a big way.
Meijer has agreed to be the lead sponsor of the $1.5 million Meijer LPGA Classic, a 72 hole, four-day event with 144 golfers, which will be played at the Blythefield Country Club in Belmont, Aug. 7-10.
The club just north of Grand Rapids features an 18 hole, 6,859-yard course.
It will become the first LPGA event ever played in the region, and the LPGA's first stop in Michigan since the Oldsmobile Classic in East Lansing in 2000.
“The area has such passionate golf fans, and with Meijer’s commitment to giving back to their community, this tournament could not be a better fit for the LPGA,” said LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan.
But for the Walker-based retailer, which has stores in five states, the event is about more than golf.
The company feels the driving focus of the Meijer LPGA Classic is to feed the hungry.
The tournament’s play will coincide with Meijer’s Simply Give program, which runs three times a year.
The program has raised $6.5 million over the last five years for food pantries, like Feeding America West Michigan. The dollars have been turned into 39 million meals.
“Hunger is a problem that impacts one out of six people in nearly every community,” said Meijer President J.K. Symancyk. “The Simply Give program gives everyone a chance to work toward ensuing no one has to go to bed hungry.”
More than 1.7 million people in Michigan have been fed through the program.
Simply Give has succeeded, because of the “continued support and generosity of our customers, team members and pantry partners,” said Doug Meijer, co-chairman of Meijer.
Meijer is celebrating the program's five-year anniversary this week.
As part of the celebration, Meijer will double every contribution a shopper makes this Friday and Saturday.
So when someone buys a $10 Simply Give gift card, the retailer will add $20 to it and the purchase will become a $30 donation to a local food bank.