Humana Challenge donates more than $2million

The Desert Classic Charities and Humana Challenge – the PGA Tour stop in Palm Desert – donated a record $2 million-plus to the Coachella Valley charities. It’s the biggest donation from the golf tournament formerly known as the Bob Hope Classic in its 53-year history.
The full release about this record-breaking donation follows:

Desert Classic Charities, Humana Donate More Than $2 Million

To Coachella Valley Community

Forty Coachella Valley Charities, Including Eisenhower Medical Center, Among Recipients of Largest Distribution Day Ever

Humana Foundation Donates $500,000 to Support Coachella Valley Community Following ‘Humana Walkit’ Challenge

LA QUINTA, CA – Desert Classic Charities, the local non-profit entity that has organized the Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation (formerly the Bob Hope Classic) for 53 years, today presented 40 Coachella Valley charities with more than $2 million in donations, the charitable proceeds raised from January’s Humana Challenge PGA TOUR golf tournament.

An additional $500,000 was contributed by the Humana Foundation as a result of their “Walkit Challenge” program – a highlight during the January tournament. This $500,000 is in addition to funds contributed by Humana earlier this year to build a KaBOOM! multi-generational park in Thermal.

The Desert Classic Charities donations were presented to non-profit organizations in three categories:

n Structured Programs for Children (14 charities)

n Rehab, Social and Support Services (13)

n Food and Shelter for the Hungry, Homeless and Abused (11)

“I’m proud that my foundation’s partnership with Desert Classic Charities and Humana has yielded such tremendous results in its first year,” said President Bill Clinton. “I look forward to continuing to work together to improve the Coachella Valley community and to advance health and wellness nationwide.”

The largest donation, $1 million, went to Eisenhower Medical Center, DCC’s longtime charitable beneficiary.

“Our new partnership with Humana and the Clinton Foundation has made it possible for us to continue making a huge difference in the lives of so many individuals here in the Coachella Valley,” said John Foster, president and CEO of Desert Classic Charities, the philanthropic arm of the Humana Challenge. “We take an immense amount of pride in the fact that our donations go not only to continue — for 53 years now — the wonderful work at Eisenhower Medical Center, but to a vast array of important organizations that work so hard to benefit thousands of people in the Valley.”

In addition to the aforementioned charitable contributions, Humana created a special initiative to encourage physical activity surrounding tournament week, during which participants were “challenged” to track their steps to raise money for local Coachella Valley charities. More than 12,000 pedometers were distributed to fans, players and the general public as part of the innovative Humana Walkit program. Throughout the week, walkers accumulated 84 million steps, which resulted in a $500,000 commitment from the Humana Foundation to benefit the local community.

Today, the Humana Foundation announced that this $500,000 commitment will be used to create an innovative partnership among three outstanding non-profit organizations: KaBOOM!, Boys and Girls Clubs of Coachella Valley and Family YMCA of the Desert. The partnership will encourage well-being through the development of playgrounds and support programs promoting healthy behaviors in children and families.

“Humana and its partners are committed to continuing the longstanding tradition of philanthropy surrounding the tournament,” said Mike McCallister, Humana’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We are proud that, with the help of the local community, Humana and the Humana Foundation can contribute even more to the Coachella Valley, which has been an excellent host and a key reason for the tournament’s success.”

During the past 53 years, the event has generated more than $51 million in donations to the Eisenhower Medical Center and charities within the Coachella Valley.

At an event in La Quinta today, representatives from the DCC, Humana and its foundation, the Clinton Foundation and the City of La Quinta announced the recipients of this year’s tournament-related donations. La Quinta is the host city for all three Humana Challenge golf courses: the Palmer Private and Nicklaus Private courses at PGA WEST and La Quinta Country Club.

The 40 organizations receiving gifts from the Desert Classic Charities include these non-profits in the Structured Programs for Children category: the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Desert; Boys & Girls Club of Cathedral City; Boys & Girls Club of Coachella; Boys & Girls Club of Indio; Boys & Girls Club of La Quinta; Boys & Girls Club of Desert Hot Springs; Boys & Girls Club of Mecca; Boys & Girls Club of Palm Springs; Coachella Valley Boxing Club; Coachella Valley Education Foundation; Healthy Families for The Ophelia Project; Pathfinder Ranch; Tools for Tomorrow and West Shores Youth Center.

Beneficiaries in the Rehab, Social and Support Services category are ABC Club; the Alano Club of the Desert; Angel View Children’s Foundation; Coachella Valley Autism Society; DesertArc; Desert Cancer Foundation; Family Services of the Desert, Guide Dogs of the Desert; Pegasus Riding Academy; Stroke Recovery Center; Visiting Nurses Association for Mourning Star; Ranch Recovery Center and United Cerebral Palsy.

The 11 organizations in the Food and Shelter for the Hungry, the Homeless and the Abused group include Coachella Valley Rescue Mission; Father’s Heart Ranch; F.I.N.D; Fish of the Lower Coachella Valley; Food Now; Joslyn Center for Meals on Wheels; Martha’s Village and Kitchen; Olive Crest; Operation Safe House; Shelter from the Storm and The Well In The Desert. The latter organization awarded the Humana Challenge with its Visionary Award earlier this month.

Additional donations are planned for The First Tee of the Coachella Valley and Go Red For Women, which benefits women’s heart issues.

The latest tournament information, including all charity news, can be found on the event’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/HumanaChallenge – and Twitter page – www.twitter.com/HumanaChallenge (@HumanaChallenge). The Humana Challenge encourages the community, golf fans and tournament patrons to become a fan on Facebook and a follower on Twitter.

The Humana Challenge continues to honor and celebrate the legacy of Bob Hope through its presentation of the Bob Hope Memorial Trophy, won for the first time by 2012 champion Mark Wilson, who held off three players for a two-shot victory.

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About Jill Painter

Jill Painter is a sports columnist for the Los Angeles News Group, covering everything from the Dodgers, Lakers, Clippers, USC, UCLA, Kings, golf and all human interest stories in sports.