The Nationwide Tour has selected Rochester (Minn.) Golf Charities, the host organization for the Showdown at Somerby, as its 2006 Charity of the Year and Oran Culberson of the Knoxville Open presented by Food City as 2006 Volunteer of the Year, it was announced by the PGA TOUR.
As Nationwide Tour Charity of the Year, Rochester Golf Charities will receive a $30,000 check from the TOUR to complement the charitable contributions generated from their 2006 tournament.
"We are very grateful to receive such a generous contribution from the PGA TOUR," said Jim Lehman, President of Rochester Golf Charities, Inc. "We were excited to bring the Nationwide Tour to the Rochester area last year and look forward to another great tournament where we can raise more money for charity.
Rochester Golf Charities was created last year when the Nationwide Tour moved to Rochester. Proceeds generated from the Showdown at Somerby will remain in the Rochester community to support area organizations.
The 2007 Showdown at Somerby will be played June 11-17 at Somerby Golf Club just outside of Rochester, MN in the city of Byron, MN. The 2006 event was won by Brandt Snedeker when he defeated Jeff Quinney in a two-hole playoff.
The Nationwide Tour and its tournaments join the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour in their commitment to support charitable organizations in the communities where they play. The events annually benefit 2,000 organizations and countless individuals. Cumulatively, the three tours have generated approximately $1.1 billion for charity through 2006, with the first donation having been made in 1938.
The Volunteer of the Year, Oran Culberson, has been a devoted Knoxville Open volunteer for the past 17 years. He is one of approximately 12,000 people who volunteer to support Nationwide Tour events each year. He will receive a specially-designed Waterford Crystal trophy in recognition of his selection.
"I am honored to have been recognized as the 2006 Volunteer of the Year for the Nationwide Tour," said Culberson. "I enjoy the work I put into the tournament. I am pushing 86 years of age and the week of the tournament is one of the high points of the year for me. It gives me a chance to spend the week with some great people who enjoy spending so many hours out there. I hope by volunteering, I am making my own contributions to a wonderful cause and helping the charities that benefit from the tournament."
"We at the Knoxville Open presented by Food City are very pleased to be associated with such a wonderful volunteer base," said Matt Wright, Tournament Director for the Knoxville Open presented by Food City. "Mr. Culberson defines what a volunteer truly is. Since the inception of the Knoxville Open, Oran Culberson has given of his time and talent to make the tournament the best it can be. We have been and continue to be rewarded by his involvement. Mr. Culberson, as well as all the others who volunteer at our event, continues to make the Knoxville Open a true community event."
"We are very pleased to honor today's winners," said Bill Calfee, President of the Nationwide Tour. "Rochester Golf Charities and Oran Culberson stand out among a strong list of candidates. The Charity and Volunteer of the Year are very significant awards on the Nationwide Tour that allow us to recognize people and organizations for their extra special efforts and give something back to others who need help."