Meijer LPGA Classic raises $1.1 million for food pantries

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Nelly Korda was crowned the champion, becoming the first two-time winner on the LPGA tour this season. Courtesy Meijer LPGA Classic

The 2021 Meijer LPGA Classic raised $1.1 million for its Simply Give program during its three-day tournament, where Nelly Korda was crowned the champion, becoming the first two-time winner on the LPGA tour this season.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic returned this year stronger than ever,” Meijer President and CEO Rick Keyes said. “Thanks to the ongoing support from our community, we exceeded our $1 million goal for this year’s tournament, which will make a big impact on hunger relief across the Midwest. Seeing our community come together in person for the first time in more than a year to rally around feeding our neighbors made the event even more meaningful.”

In addition to the $1.1 million that was raised for the program, tournament officials announced a $25,000 donation will be made to a hunger relief program of Korda’s choosing. The money that was raised will be divided to stock the shelves of Meijer’s 252 food pantry partners in the Midwest that participated in the spring Simply Give campaign.

“On behalf of everyone at Meijer, we congratulate Meijer LPGA Classic Champion Nelly Korda,” said Cathy Cooper, executive director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “After seeing the effects of the pandemic on those facing food insecurity worldwide, we are excited to start a new tradition this year by donating $25,000 to a hunger relief organization in a town of her choice.”

Meijer LPGA Classic has raised a total of $7.4 million for the Meijer Simply Give program over the course of seven tournaments. The tournament was canceled last year because of the pandemic, but the retailer matched the amount raised in the 2019 event and made a $1.1 million donation on behalf of the canceled tournament.

“The past year has been extremely difficult for many families in our community, especially those families who are experiencing homelessness,” said Dan Skoglund, executive director of Muskegon Rescue Mission. “We have seen an increase in families reaching out for assistance with their basic needs for life, such as food. Because of our partnership with Meijer through the Simply Give program, we have been able to meet the needs of everyone who come to our door.”

Korda emerged the 2021 Meijer LPGA Classic winner out of a field of 144 professional women golfers after she shot five-under par June 20 to reach 25 under for the tournament, matching the tournament 72-hole scoring record. She won $345,000.

“I love the fans,” she said. “I missed that so much throughout the past year and a half. On (hole) 17, they were really giving me a lot of confidence. They were screaming my name, telling me, ‘Let’s go.’ When you get a crowd like that that’s on your side, it feels good and puts a smile on your face.”

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