Originally created 06/28/02

National donates millions



More than $3.3 million will be donated by Augusta National Golf Club to local and national charities, Chairman Hootie Johnson announced Thursday.

The CSRA Community Foundation, which is based in Augusta and evaluates and selects worthwhile area charities to receive contributions, will receive $1.25 million.

The national First Tee initiative, which provides access to those who might not have an opportunity to play golf, will receive $1 million.

Other groups receiving contributions include FORE! Augusta, the LPGA, the U.S. Golf Association, the PGA Tour, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, and the PGA of America.

"While all our contributions are worthwhile, it is especially gratifying nationally to help individuals who traditionally have not been exposed to golf," Johnson said. "We are also grateful to the Augusta community which supports the Masters Tournament year-round."

Augusta National has contributed more than $15.5 million over the past five years, including gifts of $500,000 to the Tiger Woods Foundation and $100,000 to the September 11 Fund in the fall.

The CSRA Community Foundation was established in 1995 and focuses on six local counties: Richmond, Columbia, Burke and McDuffie in Georgia, and Aiken and Edgefield in South Carolina.

"These dollars have positively impacted every variety of this community's population," said R. Lee Smith Jr., president and chief executive officer of the CSRA Community Foundation. "Augusta National has, and continues to make, our community a better place to live and work."

The gift to the First Tee initiative is part of Augusta National's commitment. The FORE! Augusta program, which administers the local First Tee program, will get another installment of its $1 million gift from the club that was announced in 1999.

"The consistency of support by Augusta National Golf Club is particularly gratifying," said Joe Louis Barrow Jr., executive director of The First Tee and senior vice president of the World Golf Foundation. "We appreciate their continuous contributions to the game of golf as well as to our efforts to diversify the game and provide golf, character education, community service and mentoring opportunities for young people who may not otherwise have them."

Reach John Boyette at (706) 823-3337 or jboyette@augustachronicle.com.