Phoenix Open group sets record with largest Arizona charity donations

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 04:00:28 AM. The Thunderbirds, the group that hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open, announced a record-breaking $10.1 million of donations to Arizona charities.
The group that hosts the Waste Management Phoenix Open announced Tuesday it would donate more than $10 million to Arizona charities in the next year — the largest charitable contribution in its 80-year history. The Thunderbirds, as the group is known, raised $10.1 million during its most recent tournament, which drew a record 655,000 attendees in February, according to Waste Management. Last year's $9.4 million was the previous record. The Thunderbirds made the announcement at Phoenix Children's Hospital, where past contributions helped the hospital open a new emergency department. While the tournament dates to 1932, the Thunderbirds weren't founded until 1937. The Thunderbirds have raised more than $122 million since then, said Andy Markham, the organization's president. "Everything we net goes back to the community," he said, adding that the contributions dramatically increased once Waste Management became the tournament's title sponsor in 2008. Markham said the Thunderbirds' 12-person charity board will take the next year to review requests for the $10 million and select how much to give to each charity. The money is given out twice a year. In addition, the Thunderbirds donate money monthly to youth sports leagues around the state, said Markham, a former Montreal Expos player and Scottsdale Community College alumnus. "The Thunderbirds were founded with the motto, 'Promote the Valley of the Sun through sports,' " he said. Applicants can visit...Read more
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