Monday, August 12, 2013

Philanthropy Today:Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament 2013

The Jake Gittlen Memorial Golf Tournament will be held this week from August 14-18 at the Hershey Country Club,Pennsylvania.The tournament began in 1965 as the Blue Ridge Invitational,founded by Jake Gittlen to bring together the Blue Ridge Country Club and public course golfers.When he died of cancer in May 1970,it was renamed in Gittlen's honor by the country club.His son Warren,who had been a Penn State golf team captain,transformed the tournament into a fundraiser for cancer research at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center in his father's memory.*The first Jake Gittlen Memorial was held in September 1970 with 50 players.It was moved to the Hershey Country Club in 1996.Funds raised contributed to the development of the first anti-cancer vaccine,Gardisil,which helps prevent cervical and other cancers.*The tournament has grown from raising 2,500 dollars in 1970 to 850,000 in 2012,for a total of 15,840,000 to date.It is the nation's largest amateur golf fundraiser,with major support from Giant Food Stores.Other corporate sponsors include ABC27;AFLAC;Highmark Blue Shield;Merrill Lynch;Northwestern Mutual;Pepsi;Sysco;Sprint;T-Mobile;and Wells Fargo Advisors,LLC.

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