The Birdies & Bogeys charity event during Masters Week at Julian Smith Casino raised $11,295 for several charities.
The money will benefit the William Weston IV Fund, Press On and the Elaine Clark Center in Atlanta, said George Claussen, the founder of the event.
“Birdies & Bogeys was a great success. After Birdies & Bogeys, I was thinking, ‘Why should we stop now?’” Claussen said.
Claussen and a few friends recently started the Friends with Benefits Fund to raise awareness and money for local charities year-round. They chose the name because they’re friends who will throw benefits and concerts, he said.
“For us, it’s all about having fun and getting great bands to Augusta. I agree a lot with what (Georgia Health Sciences University President Ricardo) Azziz said previously that Augusta lacks some cool factor,” Claussen said.
Claussen, 26, said he and other people in their early- to mid-20s often leave town, especially around the holidays, to attend concerts.
“We’re trying to focus on bringing that cool factor back, and also at the same time raise awareness and money for these local charities. It’s a win-win for everybody involved,” Claussen said.
Many people outside of Augusta view the city as being cool only one week a year, during Masters Week, but “a lot of people want Augusta to be a destination city,” he said.
“We have a lot of great potential here. ... We’re all just trying to have a good time, and at the same time, get Augusta back on the map,” Claussen said. “If these bands can come to Atlanta and Athens, there’s no reason why we can’t get them to come here.”