Discovery Land at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Nearly Doubles in Size

Discovery Land at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Nearly Doubles in Size

Magical kids’ destination will feature Nickelodeon, Hasbro, Universal Studio and more

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The debut of Discovery Land at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give was such a success last year that the air-conditioned kids’ destination will nearly double in size – to 4,300 square feet – for the June 2019 tournament.

That means extra space for more toys and activities to engage young golf fans and families, including:

  • Photo opportunities with a variety of characters 
  • Universal Studios 
  • Nickelodeon
  • Hasbro
  • A simulated Meijer Home Delivery shopping experience
  • A 40-foot-long putting experience
  • Craft zones
  • Meijer Purple Cow ice cream
  • LPGA player autograph sessions

“After seeing kids’ faces light up when they walked into Discovery Land last year, we knew this was something we wanted to build upon this year,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “Families are a huge part of this event and we want to provide a fun experience for all families who plan to come out and enjoy the event.”

Due to the course being re-routed, Discovery Land will be in a prime location – right in front of the 18 Tee, near the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden. Discovery Land will be open Wednesday through Sunday and is free to all ticketholders.  

Additionally, youth, ages 17 years and under, are invited to participate in a free, two-hour Junior Clinic that will feature fun activities, games and group instruction by LPGA professionals and local golf pros. The Meijer LPGA Junior Clinic will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 15 at Boulder Creek Golf Club. To register for the Junior Clinic, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com.

Participants will receive free admission to the tournament with a ticketed adult.

Past Champions of the Meijer LGPA Classic for Simply Give Return in 2019

Past Champions of the Meijer LGPA Classic for Simply Give Return in 2019   

So Yeon Ryu, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson and Mirim Lee commit to the 2019 field  

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –– Four of the past five champions of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give have committed to once again play in the tournament held June 11-16 at Blythefield Country Club.

They will join some of the other biggest names in women’s golf – Cristie Kerr, Inbee Park, Morgan Pressel and Gaby Lopez – on what’s shaping up to be a very strong field for the sixth annual event.

“Our field looks great so far, and we are absolutely thrilled that most of our past champions are returning to Grand Rapids to compete for the title,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We love having these incredible athletes right here in our back yard, supporting our cause of feeding hungry families. They all have been wonderful ambassadors of our tournament since Day One.”

About the Meijer LPGA Classic’s returning champions:

2018 Champion So Yeon Ryu

Defending champion Ryu has 83 career Top 10 finishes, with six career victories. She is currently ranked 9th on the Rolex LPGA Ranking. Shortly after winning the Meijer LPGA Classic, Ryu donated $100,000 to the Meijer Simply Give program. For her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/so-yeon-ryu/98006/overview

2017 Champion Brooke Henderson

Turning professional in 2015, Henderson has secured eight Tour victories, including the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic. She currently leads the LPGA Tour in rounds completed in the 60’s. For her full, bio please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/brooke-henderson/98267/overview

2015 Champion Lexi Thompson

Thompson has won an event in each of her past six seasons – the longest active streak on        the LPGA Tour. She finished 2018 ranked first on the LPGA Tour for 15 total eagles. For her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/lexi-thompson/98184/overview

2014 Champion Mirim Lee

In her rookie year, Lee clenched her first Tour victory at the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic in 2014. Lee has 24 career Top 10 finishes and three career victories. For her full bio, please visit: http://www.lpga.com/players/mirim-lee/98054/overview

NBC’s The Voice 2018 Winner Chevel Shepherd to Headline at the Grand Taste Garden

NBC’s The Voice 2018 Winner Chevel Shepherd to Headline at the Grand Taste Garden

More restaurants, breweries and concerts add to excitement during tournament week at Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Patrons of the Grand Taste Experience at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give will once again get to listen to concerts following play on Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15, making the best food experience on any tour even better.

Tournament officials are excited to announce Chevel Shepherd, the 2018 winner of NBC’s hit show The Voice, as the headlining performer on June 15 at Blythefield Country Club.

“The Grand Taste Experience is truly a one-of-a-kind event for foodies, golf fans, families and music lovers,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We are so excited that Chevel Shepherd will be joining our line-up this year at the Grand Taste Garden. Her performances on The Voice were absolutely remarkable and we can’t wait for her to share her talent with the Grand Rapids community.”

Here’s the concert line-up at the Grand Taste Garden:

  • Friday, June 14: Great Scott will perform from for the BBQ Party; time is based on tournament play. Great Scott is a cover band from Grand Rapids, Mich. with more than 20 years of experience. The full 6-piece band with keyboards, guitars, bass, drums and piano will have guests up on their feet, dancing and singing along to the greatest songs from the 1950s to the new hits of today.
  • Saturday, June 15: The Golf Channel Band will open at 4 p.m. for Chevel Shepherd; time is subject to change based on tournament play. The band is made up of employees and crew members from The Golf Channel. Chevel Shepherd was the winner of The Voice Season 15. This mega-talented young performer captured the hearts and ears of millions of people this past season on her way to winning the championship against one of the most competitive fields in the television show’s history. She is one of the youngest artists to win and the only country artist to ever win not on Blake Shelton’s team. She sang at Kelly Clarkson’s “Meaning of Life Tour,” in Glendale, Ariz. in January and made a music video with Chaka Khan, “One Life,” directed by Otis Sallid.

The Grand Taste Garden, which made its debut last year, will feature twice as many restaurants and a larger deck. It will be located across the fairway from the Grand Taste tent and will feature food, outdoor games and live music.

So far, participants for 2019 include: Founders Brewing Co., Long Road Distillery, JuJu Bird, Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales, Short’s Brewing Company, Fire & Rice Paella, New Holland Brewing, Bell’s Brewery, The Mitten Brewing Co., Cannonsburg Village, Atwater Brewery, Reserve Wine & Food, San Chez Bistro, Ruth’s Chris Steak House, Wheelhouse, six.one.six and more.

The Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden will be open June 14-16 during the sixth annual Meijer LPGA Classic.

Single Day adult tickets cost $40 per person and are valid any one day, Friday through Sunday. Adult Weekend Passes cost $100 per person and are valid Friday through Sunday. Tickets for kids, ages 17 and under with a ticketed adult, are $10 for a single day and $20 for the weekend. This ticket will grant access to both Grand Taste locations and includes general admission access to the golf tournament.

Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic To Be A Zero Waste Event

Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic To Be A Zero Waste Event  

New sustainability program expected to divert more than 95 percent of event’s waste to compost

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Tournament officials will roll out a sustainability program at the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden – the three-day food-tasting events held during the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give – that is expected to divert more than 95 percent of its waste to recycling or compost.

The goal is to reduce the event’s environmental footprint by ultimately creating a zero-waste event, said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic.

“The Grand Taste experience is like no other on any Tour – you get to watch incredible golf while enjoying the best food and drink West Michigan has to offer,” Cooper said. “But we want to be mindful of waste. This new sustainability program will help us not only create an amazing experience but also a sustainable and zero-waste event that will ultimately give back to our neighbors through Simply Give.”

The sustainability program will include:

  • Food waste from Grand Taste and the Grand Taste Garden will be composted, including what the vendors generate during food preparation.
  • Bottles, cans, plastics and metals collected will be recycled.
  • Plates and bowls used for serving food will be made from unbleached plant fiber, containing no wax or plastic lining, which will compost in 2-4 months in a commercial facility
  • All forks and spoons will be made from certified compostable bioplastics with a cellulose wrapper and will compost in 3-6 months in a commercial facility.
  • Banks of waste bins will be stationed throughout Grand Taste and the Grand Taste Garden will be manned by an estimated 50 volunteers, who will direct attendees on where to properly place their recyclable, compostable and trash items.

The only trash from the food-tasting event held during tournament week will be items like potato chip bags and candy wrappers, said Erik Petrovskis, Director of Environmental Compliance and Sustainability for Meijer.

“Our goal is to divert more than 95 percent of the waste generated from the Grand Taste events because it’s important to show our environmental stewardship to the community,” he said. “The main focus behind the tournament is to support the Meijer Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest, and so we want to do our part by reducing food waste.”

As in previous years, all remaining food from the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden will be donated to local food pantries.

The Zero Waste International Alliance (ZWIA) defines zero waste as at least 90 percent resource recovery rate.

Tickets to Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Now Available Online

Tickets to Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Now Available Online

Proceeds from the tournament will help #OutDriveHunger by benefitting Simply Give

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Tickets to two of the summer’s hottest events – the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give and its three-day food event, Grand Taste – are now available online.

The sixth annual tournament will be held June 11-16 at Blythefield Country Club.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic has always been focused on bringing the community together in a fun way to help feed our hungry neighbors. As we head into our sixth year, we are celebrating ‘The Year of More’ and we want to again provide an event the whole family can enjoy,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “Families, foodies and golf fans from across the Midwest can come to Grand Rapids to enjoy a week full of events while watching the best female golfers in the world, all at an affordable cost.”

General Admission Tickets  

General Admission Tickets include general grounds access to the Meijer LPGA Classic. Public viewing bleacher seating and various concession areas are located throughout the course for spectators. Kids, ages 17 and under, will receive free admission with a ticketed adult. Discovery Land will again return as a free destination for kids and families at the course.

  • Daily tickets cost $10 each, and are valid any one day, Tuesday through Sunday.
  • Weekly tickets cost $25 each, and are valid all week, Tuesday through Sunday.

Grand Taste at the Meijer LPGA Classic

The Grand Taste – known as the best food experience on any tour – will return to this year’s tournament week lineup at Blythefield Country Club from June 14-16. The upgraded ticket will include food and beverage samples from participating local restaurants, breweries and Meijer vendors at both the Grand Taste and Grand Taste Garden.

  • Single Day adult tickets cost $40 each, and are valid any one day, Friday through Sunday.
  • Weekend passes cost $100 each, and are valid Friday through Sunday.
  • Tickets for kids, ages 17 and under with a ticketed adult, cost $10 for a single day and $20 for the weekend.

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. Proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the five tournaments have generated more than $4.2 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.

To follow the Meijer LPGA Classic before, during and after tournament week, please post about your experience and share your pictures on social media using the hashtags #OutDriveHunger, #forehunger, #SimplyGive and #MeijerGives.

 

Meijer LPGA Classic Reroutes Course to Enhance Spectator Experience

 

Meijer LPGA Classic Reroutes Course to Enhance Spectator Experience

Tournament is committed to providing the “Best Fan Experience”

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give was recently awarded the “Best Fan Experience” by the LPGA Tour. To build upon that momentum and provide an even greater fan experience, tournament officials will completely reroute the course this year.

Holes 1 and 18 will move near the main entrance with the tee box and fairway situated along the fan favorites of Grand Taste, an expanded Grand Taste Garden and Discovery Land.

“This enhancement gives everyone – spectators, volunteers, TV viewers and players – a chance to get closer to the excitement and allows us to better showcase how this week is so much more than just golf,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We are focused on making this a fantastic event for the entire community and for families while taking care of our hungry neighbors.”

The procession of the remaining holes will also change for the 2019 tournament, which will be held June 11-16 at Blythefield Country Club.

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. Proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the five tournaments have generated more than $4.2 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.

In 2018, the tournament was awarded “Best Fan Experience” by the LPGA Tour at the Gold Driver Awards event in November.

“Receiving this award for best fan experience is such a remarkable honor and we plan to top that in 2019 – just when you thought it couldn’t get any better,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “Thanks to our volunteers and staff we’ve been able to create an experience that brings our community together to help feed our neighbors though Simply Give.”

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Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Needs 900 Volunteers

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Needs 900 Volunteers

Tournament opens volunteer registration with “Refer a Friend” program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Meijer LGPA Classic for Simply Give is looking for more volunteers than ever to support its tournament that was recently named the Best Family Experience on the LPGA Tour.

Tournament officials opened volunteer registration today with a “Refer a Friend” program to secure 900 volunteers for the sixth annual tournament, held June 10-16 at Blythefield Country Club.

All returning volunteers will be eligible for a $20 Meijer gift card when they refer a friend who did not volunteer during the 2018 tournament. The referred friend must work a minimum of three shifts for the returning volunteer to receive the gift card, which will be distributed after the last volunteer shift. There is a limit of one gift card per returning volunteer.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic is a family event that the entire community can enjoy. As we head into our sixth year, we want to continue to build upon the momentum that has deemed our tournament one of the premier events on the Tour,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “And that means we need even more volunteers. We believe the Refer A Friend program will help us put on another successful event.”

The Meijer LPGA Classic is seeking 900 volunteers to fill roles on 28 different committees, ranging from marshals and standard bearers to transportation and assisting inside the media center.

New committees this year include To sign up for the General Volunteer position, the volunteer will only need to select a time slot. Once onsite,

Discovery Land was a new addition in 2018 and quickly became a destination for kids and families. It will again be in a prime location near the Grand Taste Garden and give young fans the opportunity to participate in many hands-on experiences and fun activities throughout the week. But, more volunteers are needed for this area.

“Each year, the support the Meijer LPGA Classic receives from the players, community and our dedicated volunteers, is incredible,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “We look forward to bringing another fun week of events and competitive golf to the community.”

Volunteers are encouraged to register early since committees and shift times are filled on a first come, first served basis. 

The volunteer fee is $55, and includes two official tournament golf shirts, one official tournament hat or visor, four weekly grounds passes for friends or family, one volunteer appreciation party invitation, and meals and beverages during scheduled shifts. The volunteer badge is valid as a grounds pass, as well as provides access to the Grand Taste and parking for tournament week.

Meijer Team Member Charlie Mollien has enjoyed volunteering for the tournament the past 2 years in transportation and at Grand Taste.

“This event is important to Meijer, a ton of fun, and is a great way to raise money for Simply Give,” he said. “I enjoy volunteering because it’s another way to give back to the community.”

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. Proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the five tournaments have generated more than $4.2 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.

Meijer LPGA Classic 5k Run & Walk presented by Kellogg’s to Add Course Certification This Year  

Meijer LPGA Classic 5k Run & Walk presented by Kellogg’s to Add Course Certification This Year            

Registration is now open to run #forehunger during the sixth annual event

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – The Meijer LPGA Classic 5k Run & Walk presented by Kellogg’s® will return for tournament week as an official 5k, giving runners the opportunity to use their times to qualify for other USA Track & Field (USATF) events.

The course will be measured later this spring and sanctioned by the USATF to ensure that every possible path of the course that begins and ends at Rockford High School is at least 3.1 km long.

“We recognize this community has numerous competitive runners, and we’re pleased to align our 5k in a way that helps them in future races,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give. “But the great thing about our race is you don’t have to be a professional athlete to take part in it. It’s a great way to get the entire family involved in a healthy lifestyle all while helping feed those in need.”

Registration for the run and walk is now open online.

As in previous years, the race will be powered by Gazelle Sports, and will start at 8 a.m. June 15 at Rockford High School. Each participant will receive a branded T-shirt, two daily tickets to the golf tournament, valid any one day, Tuesday through Sunday, and a complimentary breakfast provided by Kellogg’s after the race.

The cost to participate in the run or walk is $25 per person, ages 18 and older, and $15 per person, ages 17 and under. Strollers are welcome and encouraged on the course. The top three runners in each age group will receive $500, $250, and $100 in Meijer gift cards, respectively.

Additionally, children ages 10 and under are invited to participate in a half-mile kid’s fun run that will take place in conjunction with the 5k run and walk. The cost is $10 per child.

Local companies, community organizations, families and schools throughout West Michigan are encouraged to put together a team of five to 10 runners to participate in the Team Challenge. The cost to participate is $150 per team; the top five finishers in each team will be scored.

Dathan Ritzenhein, a Rockford, Mich. native and professional long-distance runner, said it’s exciting the race will be USATF certified for those who are focused on the competition aspect.

“Participants will know that their times on race day are 100 percent accurate and they can attack this fast course looking for a PR (personal record),” said Ritzenhein, who placed 7th in the 2015 Boston Marathon.

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition. Proceeds from the tournament – and each of the week’s festivities – will once again benefit the Meijer Simply Give program that restocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. The 2018 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the five tournaments have generated more than $4.2 million for the Meijer Simply Give program.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give or to register for the Meijer LPGA Classic 5k Run & Walk presented by Kellogg’s please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com.

So Yeon Ryu Donates Portion of Tournament Winnings to Simply Give

2018 Meijer LPGA Classic Champion Donates Portion of Winnings to Simply Give

So Yeon Ryu donates $100,000 after the 5th annual tournament                      

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – For the first time in tournament history, the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give champion donated a portion of her winnings back to the retailer’s Simply Give program.

Tournament representatives and So Yeon Ryu from the Republic of Korea today announced the $100,000 donation to the program that stocks the shelves of the retailer’s food pantry partners across the Midwest.

“On Pro-am day, I was joined with the CEO of Meijer and had a chance to learn more about the Simply Give program,” Ryu said. “I decided to donate to the program if I win this tournament, and that became my motivation. I am very happy that I could keep the promise to myself.”

A crowd of enthusiastic fans braved the steamy weather and lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club June 12-17 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Ryu shot 21 under par in the final round to claim the title as Meijer LPGA Classic champion.

Ryu won $300,000 from the $2 million purse, which is shared among the Top 10 players.

“Thanks to So Yeon Ryu’s generosity, the impact of the Meijer LPGA Classic is extended to additional hungry neighbors in the communities we serve,” said Rick Keyes, Meijer President & CEO. “I had the opportunity to spend time with her during tournament week and explain the importance of the Simply Give program. We’re thankful at just how much she appreciates, and supports, what our tournament is trying to accomplish.”

The 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic was the fifth annual tournament benefiting the Meijer Simply Give program. Together with Ryu’s donation, the five tournaments have generated $4.3 million for food pantries across the Midwest to feed hungry neighbors.

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic will return to Blythefield Country Club from June 11-16.

Meijer started Simply Give in November 2008 and has since generated more than $43 million for its food pantry partners.

So Yeon Ryu Wins 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic For Simply Give

2018 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Raises $1.1 Million to Feed Hungry Families

So Yeon Ryu takes the win at the 5th annual tournament                      

 The fifth annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give concluded today with a win by So Yeon Ryu from Korea and a record donation of $1.1 million to the retailer’s Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of its food pantry partners across the Midwest.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic has made an incredible impact on our hungry neighbors. Thanks to the ongoing support from our community, we exceeded our $1 million goal for this year’s tournament,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “It was a meaningful end to a fun-filled week, which saw record-breaking attendance of more than 55,000 people.”

The 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic was the fifth annual tournament benefiting the Meijer Simply Give program. Together, the five tournaments have generated $4.2 million for food pantries across the Midwest to feed hungry neighbors.

“On behalf of everyone at Meijer, we congratulate So Yeon Ryu on a great win at the Meijer LPGA Classic,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “This year’s tournament was once again fully embraced by the community, and we could not be more pleased.”

Meijer started Simply Give in November 2008 and has since generated more than $37 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions donated as a result of the Meijer LPGA Classic are due, in large part, to the generous Meijer customers who attended the tournament week events, and the sponsors who helped make it a success.

The $1.1 million donation will be divided among the retailer’s 239 food pantry partners participating in the spring Simply Give campaign, which ended today.

“With the help of the Meijer LPGA Classic, the community and the Meijer Simply Give program, this helps keep our food pantry shelves stocked so that we are able to feed those who might not otherwise have any food on their table,” said Waverly Knight, Director of the Northwest Food Pantry. “It’s just awesome when the community comes together. Thank you to everyone.”

A crowd of enthusiastic fans braved the steamy weather and lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club June 12-17 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, So Yeon Ryu from Korea shot 21 under par in the final round to claim the title as Meijer LPGA Classic champion.

“Well, if I look back on my season, I wasn’t really satisfied with it and I’ve been really, really struggle,” Ryu said. “…And then finally I was able to find the last piece to put everything together, so it’s really, really meaningful to me.”

To follow the Meijer LPGA Classic before, during and after tournament week, please post about your experience and share your pictures on social media using the hashtags #forehunger, #SimplyGive and #MeijerGives.