Rapiscan Systems Classic donates more than $2M as part of Birdies for Charity program

They say timing is everything and nobody knows that better than the folks in charge of the Rapiscan Systems Classic.

The sports world came to a screeching halt just 11 days before tee-time in 2020 which carried over into this year.

In place of the otherwise annual PGA Tour Champions event, it is the Rapiscan Systems Charity Challenge.

Tonight, players from this week’s two-day Pro-Am Tournament as well as sponsors and representatives from local charities all celebrated their seven-figure achievement at the Mississippi Aquarium in Gulfport.

They raised $2,376,882 to benefit 25 different charities as a part of the Birdies for Charity program.

Despite having to navigate the hardships of a global pandemic that number represents the highest two-year total in the history of the tournament. Rapiscan Systems Classic Tournament Director Stephen Schoettmer said, “The announcement tonight is the culmination of the past two years, and it’s huge for what we do. At the end of the day, we put on a great golf tournament and we have all the spectators – certainly when we can – out and to entertain the Coast. But at the end of the day, the charity is what we do, is what benefits from all that we do. And so, to have the numbers that we have tonight are certainly really cool and it makes what we do every day worth it.”

Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz said, “I’m honored. I mean to play golf is one thing, but to play golf with the Champions Tour and in this event to raise money, of course, I love to play my small part. But pretty cool when you hear what the Champions Tour and what Rapiscan and all the things that are going on down here, especially what’s changed in our lives with COVID is pretty impressive.”

The Pro-Am Tournament started today and wraps up tomorrow.

We’ll have more from Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz tomorrow night.

Categories: Local Sports, Sports