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MAULDIN, S.C. -- The 2006 Bi-Lo Charity Classic, Bi-Lo's annual golf event that took place this year in upstate South Carolina on June 12, raised more than $5.5 million, the regional grocery chain said yesterday. This breaks the tournament's record of $4.5 million set last year.
The tournament raises funds for charitable organizations in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee. Bi-Lo said its Charity Classic is recognized as the largest one-day benefit golf tournament in the country, and this year hosted more than 1,450 golfers for the weekend's events.
"The money we raise significantly impacts thousands of people where we have supermarkets, so we're really thrilled with the $5.5 million," said Dean Cohagan, Bi-Lo's president and c.e.o. "We help kids, education, and hunger relief charities with grants from the Bi-Lo Charity Classic, and each year it seems like the needs increase. Employees at each store work hard to meet the goals set, and it is because of their hard work that this year's tournament surpassed 2005 by over $1 million."
Since its inception in 1984 as a fundraiser for Meals On Wheels of Greenville, the annual tournament has raised more than $33 million. Meals on Wheels organizations in all four states that Bi-Lo serves receive funding from the Charity Classic, helping these groups serve over 14,000 meals to the elderly and disabled every day of the year.
In addition to the corporate grants, each Bi-Lo supermarket receives $1,000 from tournament proceeds to assist a charity in its community. For the third time this year, the stores also had a local campaign asking customers to donate $1 to their charity. Bi-Lo supermarkets raised more than $630,000 with the scan donations, all of which will stay in their own communities.
Bi-Lo/Bruno's operates 340 stores in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida.