Century Club Charities, host organization of the Sanderson Farms Championship, set a record by donating $1 million from tournament proceeds to benefit Mississippi’s only children’s hospital. It is the 10th consecutive year the tournament’s donation to Children’s of Mississippi has been $1 million or more.
The donation from proceeds of the state’s only PGA TOUR event to Friends of Children’s Hospital was announced at a news conference today at Children’s of Mississippi’s Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower on the campus of the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
Since 2013, the first year Sanderson Farms, now Wayne-Sanderson Farms, was title sponsor of the tournament, more than $17.2 million has been raised for Mississippi charities through the event. Since 1994, Century Club Charities has raised more than $24.5 million for Mississippi charities.
“Through the efforts of our amazing tournament partners and sponsors, especially our title sponsor, Wayne-Sanderson Farms, as well as the Century Club Charities members, board and staff; tournament volunteers, the Country Club of Jackson, and the PGA TOUR, the 2023 Sanderson Farms Championship allowed us to once again make a substantial gift to Mississippi charities,” said Century Club Charities President Phillip Carpenter. “We were very excited to host a first-class event, and all the excitement fans have come to expect, and that support allowed us to reach lofty goals when Children’s of Mississippi and other statewide charities are in great need.”
Children’s of Mississippi, which includes the children’s hospital as well as clinics around the state, cares for nearly 200,000 children a year.
Dr. LouAnn Woodward, vice chancellor for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at UMMC, thanked Century Club Charities, Friends of Children’s Hospital and Wayne-Sanderson Farms for their continuing support.
“Century Club Charities and the Sanderson Farms Championship have proven their commitment to children’s health care yet again,” she said. “The millions of dollars raised through the Sanderson Farms Championship provide invaluable support of world-class health care close to home for Mississippi’s families.”
Woodward praised the tournament for its connection to Children’s of Mississippi’s patients.
“The Sanderson Farms Championship is an excellent golf tournament that stands on its own merits, but what makes it special is the connection with the children here. You will see during the week of the tournament the players and the PGA Wives Association members over here spending time with the patients and their families. When you’re at the tournament, you see signs featuring Children’s of Mississippi and our patients. All the visitors and spectators and everyone involved really get a sense of what this is all about.”
Friends of Children’s Hospital Board Chair Kristin Allen thanked Century Club Charities members for their steadfast support.
“Through this successful fundraiser, the premier event in Mississippi, Century Club Charities has provided immeasurable support to Children’s of Mississippi,” she said. “Over the years, their generosity has helped us fulfill our mission to serve Mississippi’s sick and injured children. On behalf of Mississippi’s youngest patients, thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to improving the health of the state, one child at a time.”
Dr. Mary Taylor, Suzan B. Thames Chair and professor of pediatrics, said projects such as the Kathy and Joe Sanderson Tower, a seven-story children’s hospital expansion opened in 2020, would not have been possible without the Sanderson Farms Championship and Century Club Charities.
“The Sanderson Farms Championship is a tournament for our whole state, and it means so much to have a facility that can care for the children of this state like they deserve to be cared for. We hold ourselves to the standards of the best children’s hospitals around the country, and we are blessed to have the support of people like you.”
Bob “Pic” Billingsley, senior vice president and general manager of retail sales for Wayne-Sanderson Farms, applauded the teamwork behind the scenes.
“For this to happen, it’s like this hospital, it’s like Wayne-Sanderson Farms, it’s like anything else in this life that’s good, it takes good people,” he said. “On behalf of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to all of the sponsors, players, volunteers and fans who made this tournament possible.”
Steve Jent, executive director of the tournament, thanked the many volunteers and fans who support the Sanderson Farms Championship each year.
“The continued support of Wayne-Sanderson Farms, our tournament sponsors, Century Club members and our fan base – along with the hard work of our volunteers and staff – have allowed us to create another special year for our charities.”
The 2024 Sanderson Farms Championship is set for Sept. 30-Oct. 6 at the Country Club of Jackson.
By Annie Oeth, UMMC Public Affairs