Filling a need

Sports

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — For three decades now, the Price Cutter Charity Championship has been held in Springfield.

“There are four tournaments that will celebrate their 31st tournament anniversary this year,” PCCC Tournament Director Jerald Andrews said. “There are two tournaments that have been played at the same golf course all 31 years. Obviously, we’re one of both those categories.”

And tournament director Jerald Andrews has seen some strange moments at Highland Springs over that time.

“The year it rained nine inches, we only played 36 holes of professional golf. I stood up in the clubhouse and watched a boat sink down in the lake that was on display,” Andrews recalled.

But the 2020 tournament is likely to top them all.

“This one will be the biggest challenge and probably the strangest,” Andrews said.

But Andrews knows that through it all, two constants will remain: the golf and the charity work.

“I love the golf as much as anyone does, but the golf is a vehicle to produce charitable dollars,” Andrews said.

Since 1989, the calling card of the PCCC has been its efforts to raise money for charity. Last year, that was more than $950,000 for 49 children’s groups. The tournament is setting the same goal for this year.

“We want to do as much as we possibly can for nearly 50 charities again this year as well. I’m hearing from charities every day, or at least every other day, saying number one is there going to be a tournament? Of course now that’s public. There is going to be a tournament unless something really tragic happens between now and then. And then secondly, are they going to benefit from that?” Andrews said.

But this year, it’s even more important.

Local charities have been forced to cancel fundraisers due to the ongoing pandemic, meaning some can’t recover without the help of the tournament.

“We had one charity that was in here 10 days ago,” Andrews said. “And this charity, this will be their 29th year. He was saying the tournament is nearly half of our annual budget. If we don’t get that, we can’t survive.”

So when the golfers hit the course in late July, it won’t just mean catharsis for fans.

It’ll be a literal lifeline for charities.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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