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Despite LPGA Tour tournament cancellation, Meijer still donates $1.1M to charity

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

The rash of golf-tournament cancellations has threatened to cost many communities millions in charitable dollars. But not in west Michigan.

Meijer on Monday announced it still will donate $1.1 million in 2020 to its Simply Give hunger-relief program, the main beneficiary from its LPGA Tour tournament despite it being axed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

MSU alum Sarah Burnham was looking forward to the Meijer LPGA Classic.

The $1.1 million matches what the Meijer LPGA Classic donated after its 2019 tournament.

"Meijer is committed to enriching lives in the communities we serve, which is more important now than ever before," Cathy Cooper, executive eirector of the Meijer LPGA Classic, said in a statement.

"Although this year's tournament has been cancelled, we didn't want our food pantry partners to feel that loss, especially given the increased need they've seen these past few months."

The tournament had raised $5.2 million for charity in its first six years, before the 2020 event, originally scheduled for May and then October, was finally canceled. 

The donation, Meijer said, will be divided equally among more than 435 food pantries in the Midwest. The donation works out to a little more than $2,500 per food pantry. Meijer also donated $2.2 to Simply Give in March, as the coronavirus was starting to spread in the United States.

Both Michigan LPGA Tour tournaments were canceled; the Great Lakes Bay Invitational in Midland had been scheduled for July. The state also lost the Senior PGA Championship, set for Benton Harbor. The PGA Tour's Rocket Mortgage Classic is next week in Detroit, and the Champions Tour's Ally Challenge is scheduled for July in Grand Blanc.

Next year's Meijer LPGA Classic will be June 9-13, at Blythefield Country Club outside Grand Rapids.

Brooke Henderson won the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984