Professional golf is coming back to Midland.
Preparations for the 2021 Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational (GLBI) Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tournament this summer, July 11-17, are now underway. In addition to the competition, the event makes great contributions to the region.
A central value of the tournament is supporting local nonprofits — in its first year in 2019, the event contributed $200,00 to local charities. Due to COVID-19, the event was canceled in 2020. In 2021, that value of giving is still very much at the forefront. Applications for the #TeamUp for the Great Lakes Bay Region charitable program are now open to 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
“We are excited to celebrate another year of supporting local organizations through the #TeamUp for the Great Lakes Bay Region program,” says Dow GLBI executive director Chris Chandler. “It is incredibly rewarding to see how much our charitable giving efforts have impacted the communities that we live and work in.”
The Care Store provides personal and household care items not eligible for retail purchase with a Bridge Card to individuals in need who have earned Care Bucks from local human services agencies.
All 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region are invited to apply. Nonprofits will be chosen based on their organization’s impact to STEM, sustainability, inclusion, and/or innovation. Once selected, each of the 33 nonprofits (7 each from Saginaw, Bay, Midland, Isabella plus 5 regional nonprofits) will be paired with 2 of the 66 teams competing in this LPGA event.
A total pool of $233,500 will be donated to local nonprofits through this program. Each LPGA team is worth $2,250 — guaranteeing $4,500 for each nonprofit, with opportunities to win more money depending on how the team performs.
“Most of those organizations (nonprofits), as you can imagine, need to do some serious fundraising and it has usually come in the way of an event. And with all those events being canceled, the need within those 501(c)(3)s is even greater,” says Wendy Traschen, Dow GLBI tournament director.HopeWell Ranch’s mission is to create a loving environment of hope, healing, and purpose for children, individuals and families, where lives can be transformed in order to succeed, through the redeeming love of Christ.
Traschen says that Dow and LPGA believe in giving back to the community.
“In true Dow style, if they’re going to put on an event like this and be the top sponsor and then take a look at the vision and the mission of the LPGA, how do you give back? And this was the way they felt they could give back,” says Traschen.
Money donated through the charitable program has gone toward nonprofits that provide assistance with transportation, food, and other services, to name only a few examples. Two nonprofits, HopeWell Ranch and The Care Store, were recognized by Cisco in the program’s inaugural year as the most engaged organizations and given guaranteed entry into this year’s tournament. Their entries into the tournament have already been accounted for.
“For [all of] these nonprofits to be able to get involved and for it to be a value of this tournament says a lot about our region and the companies that are associated with our region,” says Traschen.
Wendy Traschen, Dow GLBI tournament director, strongly believes in giving back to help enrich the community.Traschen joined the Dow GLBI team because she was impressed with the impact it had on the community. She was ready for a bigger role in giving back.
“I strongly believe — I’ve lived in Midland my whole life — I strongly believe that if you’re living and working in a community, that you’ve got to give back and you’ve got to help enrich the community.”
The Dow GLBI makes a concerted effort to build charitable dollars into their budget each year; neither they nor Dow profits from the Dow GLBI and/or sponsors. Any dollars beyond their operating costs go right back into the community.
Traschen hopes that by July, the tournament will be able to run “business as usual,” but is carefully monitoring the situation with COVID-19.
“[The LPGA] had strict COVID measures in place and we are following those, and we have a number of different contingency plans that we have lined up,” says Traschen. “… We are going to pay very close attention to [COVID-19], as we should, and we’ll see what our state looks like come the middle of July. But it’s been encouraging that the other tournaments have been able to play safely and have been able to have some spectators there. We know that the LPGA is doing the right thing and will continue to.”
Nonprofit organizations can apply online at www.dowglbi.com/community-impact until February 26.