HARTFORD, Conn. – Travelers Championship general manager Nathan Grube has often said the best day of the year doesn’t come during the tournament. It’s the day that the officials of the premier sporting event in Connecticut announce how much was raised for charity.
That day for 2021 came last week, and Grube & Co. had the best news ever. This year’s event, won by Harris English in a tournament-record, eight-hole playoff with Kramer Hickok, generated a record $2.2 million for more than 125 local charities, including the primary beneficiary, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford. And the record total was reached despite attendance being limited to 10,000 fans for the Pro-Am and four tournament days.
This year’s total was $100,000 more than the previous record in 2019, and a $600,000 increase from 2020, when spectators were not allowed at attend the event at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell. Since Travelers became title sponsor in 2007, the tournament has raised more than $22.5 million for more than 800 nonprofits across the region.
The announcement was made at the tournament’s annual Charity Celebration recognizing many of the charities that benefited from the PGA Tour event. Speakers during the virtual event were Grube; Andy Bessette, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Travelers; and Jimmy Canton, Chief Executive Officer at The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. English joined the event remotely and discussed the tournament’s charitable impact in Connecticut and his experience as a member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team that notched a record 19-9 victory over Europe.
“This continues to be the most important and rewarding day for the tournament,” Grube said in a press release. “Generating money for these amazing local charities remains the top objective of the Travelers Championship. Celebrating with our charitable partners and hearing about how the funds will benefit thousands of Connecticut residents motivates us to create the best tournament experience for everyone who attends. That’s what makes today so special.”
Bessette said: “We’re committed to making the Travelers Championship better every year because the more successful it is, the more money we are able to generate for local charities. This summer’s tournament was tremendous on so many levels – we welcomed back many of our enthusiastic fans, we had a fantastic player field with several of the biggest names in the sport and there was a historic playoff. To top it all off, we reached over $2 million for charity. I can’t wait to see everyone come back together again next June.”
The Travelers Championship donates 100 percent of its net proceeds to charity every year. The tournament’s Birdies for Charity program, sponsored by Webster Bank, also generates funds for nonprofit organizations.
This year’s primary beneficiary was again The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, which is rebuilding a portion of its campus after a fire destroyed its main program complex in February. The organization, which was founded in 1988 by the late actor Paul Newman, provides summer camp experiences as well as year-round hospital and family outreach programs to thousands of children with serious illnesses and their families, all completely free of charge.
Preparations have already begun for the 2022 Travelers Championship on June 23-26 at TPC River Highlands.
On the web: TravelersChampionship.com