American Express Distributes $1 Million in Charity Funds from Golf Tournament
By Larry Bohannan
For Sergio Carranza, a donation from The American Express golf tournament Tuesday (Nov. 7, 2023) could be the difference in helping families start small farms in the eastern Coachella Valley.
"Through the American Express program, we'll focus on the newly started economic development on promoting more small farming," said Carranza, executive director of Pueblo Unido CDC. "There is an incredible amount of next generation of farmers that are coming from this community and trying to go to the next level. What we do is bring resources, including this one, to invest in small businesses so they can become sustainable."
Carranza's story was just one from the 16 charities that received distributions Tuesday from the Impact Through Golf Foundation, the charitable art of the PGA Tour's American Express tournament played in LA Quinta each January.
Other charities receiving checks, most who did not know the amount in the sealed envelopes, were Big Brother Big Sisters of the Desert, Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City, Boys and Girls Club of Coachella Valley, Boys and Girls Club of Palm Springs, Coachella Valley Volunteers in Medicine, Desert Sands Educational Foundation, Family YMCA of the Desert, First Tee - Coachella Valley, FIND (Food in Need of Distribution) Food Bank Coachella Valley, Galilee Center, Girlfriend Factor, Hunter Lopez Memorial Foundation, Jewish Family Service of the Desert, John F. Kennedy Foundation/Ophelia Project, and Martha's Village and Kitchen.
Commitment to the community
The $1 million contribution on Nov. 7 brings the tournament's total contributions to $65 million since the pro golf event began in 1960. The charity money also solidifies the tournament as a strong and growing event just 10 years after the tournament's very existence was in question.
Pat McCabe, executive director of the tournament for operating partner SportFive, said the 65th playing of the tournament in January 2024 looks to build on a trend of stronger playing fields.
"The world of golf is an ever-evolving space, but the consistency that AmEx has brought and now the charity organization in Impact Through Golf, the future is certainly bright," McCabe said.
While the first name of players commiting to the event won't be announced until December, the tournament already has defending champion Jon Rahm as a drawing card.
"There are a number of different factors that I like to talk about," McCabe said. "There is chamber of commerce La Quinta weather, typically. You've got relationships, whether it be American Express or SportFive, our group. You also have relationships that players have established among the community. We talk about that a lot. We think that is important. There are so many great clubs, so many great facilities. And they get three great rounds competitively in January."
Article reprint courtesy of The Desert Sun. Copy: Larry Bohannan, Photography: Jay Calderon