THE PLAYERS Giving Back Month concludes with Red Coat Ride Out

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  • November 22, 2013

Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. - THE PLAYERS volunteer leadership – the Red Coats –once again hit the road for what has become a Giving Back Month tradition: the Red Coat Ride Out.  This year, the Red Coats took a tour of the Operation New Hope facility before joining the UNF First Generation Scholars Luncheon; both organizations are recipients of Red Coat grants. The Red Coat Ride Out concluded a month of events that celebrated THE PLAYERS charitable outreach and total charitable donations as a result of the 2013 tournament.  

Operation New Hope received a $10,000 grant from the Red Coats this year, and a surprise $10,000 donation from THE PLAYERS was revealed during the Red Coats visit. Operation New Hope, founded in 1999, is a faith-based, nonprofit community development corporation. Operation New Hope has maintained a two-pronged business model vital to sustaining broken urban communities: affordable housing; and successful workforce reintegration of ex-offenders. The $20,000 donation will support Operation New Hope’s Ready 4 Work program, designed to assist in curtailing prison recidivism and since its inception has assisted more than 2,500 participants.

“This was an incredible day. To have such a distinguished group, the Red Coats, come and bring us a nice check along with wonderful gifts for our clients is beyond words,” said Operation New Hope Founder & CEO, Kevin Gay. “As you can see, the impact of THE PLAYERS is being felt throughout our great city.”

From there, the Red Coats attended UNF’s First Generation Scholars Luncheon to celebrate the recipients of the Red Coat Scholarships.  Thanks to a $750,000 gift from the tournament over a five-year commitment, THE PLAYERS Red Coat Scholarships help fund opportunities for first-generation students to attend college at UNF.  THE PLAYERS donation was part of a matching grant program that began in 2006 when the Florida Legislature appropriated $6.5 million statewide to be matched by private donations. 

“Both of these organizations are making a huge difference in the lives of so many, and during our visits we saw how far our donations have gone and will go to make their efforts possible,” said 2013 Tournament Chairman Robert Davis. “We’re extremely proud to support so many charities throughout Northeast Florida, and Giving Back Month has been a tremendous platform for us to do so.”

Other Giving Back Month events included Fred Funk visiting the Ronald McDonald House of Jacksonville, THE PLAYERS Birdies for the Brave Tournament at TPC Sawgrass, THE PLAYERS volunteer leadership party where the 2013 tournament charity total was unveiled, and a Jacksonville Jaguars closest-to-the-pin competition featuring Mark McCumber.

THE PLAYERS generated $7.1 million for local charities during the 2013 tournament, eclipsing last year’s record-breaking total of $6.5 million. The money generated by THE PLAYERS each year benefits more than 300 charities throughout Northeast Florida, totaling nearly $60 million in charitable giving since the event moved to Ponte Vedra Beach in 1977.


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