by: Scott Wickersham Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The second round of the Wells Fargo Championship is wrapping up Friday night and a local charity is celebrating the new five-year extension.
If the tournament would have left, it would have pulled a huge chunk of their annual funding along with it.
The First Tee Charlotte Director Ike Grainger said the tournament's charitable fundraising has been essential to their programs in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools that impact 65,000 children each year.
“I hate to say we depend on it, but we certainly do,” Grainger said.
Last year, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the tournament’s charity Champions for Education donated $150,000 to First Tee that is a little more than 20 percent of its annual budget.
They wouldn’t be able to hire a new worker to assist their three-person staff, renovate their offices this year or pass the game's values to children without that money.
“The core values of honesty, integrity, perseverance, sportsmanship, courtesy,” Grainger said.
Wells Fargo donates to various charities each year that give back to Charlotte
“We can’t have a strong bank without a strong community and strong communities are built by groups like The First Tee,” said Kendall Alley with Wells Fargo.
Tournament leaders are happy golf fans will also be pumping money into the local economy.
“It’s not just the dollars and the heads in beds or restaurants,” said Kym Houghman, tournament director. “We do a lot of business here in town. We try to do as much locally as we can.
The First Tee said it will also use some of the money from the Wells Fargo Foundation to create college scholarships for first tee graduates.
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