2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Raises $1.1 Million to Feed Hungry Families

2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Raises $1.1 Million to Feed Hungry Families

Brooke Henderson takes the win at the 6th annual tournament                      

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Despite a slow start due to heavy rains, the sixth annual Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give concluded today with a win by Canada’s Brooke Henderson and a donation commitment of $1.1 million to the retailer’s Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of its food pantry partners across the Midwest. Henderson was the tournament’s 2017 champion.

“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 that kept us on our toes thanks to Mother Nature.”

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic was the sixth annual tournament benefiting the Meijer Simply Give program. Together, the six tournaments have generated $5.2 million for food pantries across the Midwest to feed hungry neighbors.

“On behalf of everyone at Meijer, we congratulate two-time Meijer LPGA Classic Champion Brooke Henderson,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “This year’s tournament was once again fully embraced by the community, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”

Meijer started Simply Give in November 2008 and has since generated nearly $49 million for its food pantry partners. The contributions resulting from 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 246 food pantry partners participating in the spring Simply Give campaign, which ended today.

“There are hard-working people in our community who cannot afford to buy fresh fruits and vegetables for their children. They’re forced to make difficult choices every day,” said Claire Guisfredi, Executive Director of North Kent Connect. “Because of the Meijer Simply Give program, we can ease the burden of our working families and seniors. We can provide healthy, wholesome fresh fruits and vegetables so our clients and children can get the proper nutrition they need to succeed in school and in life. Thank you, Meijer, for this gift that has a ripple effect across the entire community.”

A crowd of enthusiastic fans braved the rainy, overcast skies and lined the ropes at Blythefield Country Club June 11-16 to watch a competitive field of 144 world-class golfers play 72 holes of stroke play. Ultimately, Brooke Henderson shot 21 under par to claim the title as Meijer LPGA Classic champion. It’s the second time she won the Meijer LPGA Classic on Father’s Day.

“It’s really special. I’m so happy that both my mom and my dad can be out here to watch my sister and I win this. It’s always special when they’re here, especially on Father’s Day,” said Henderson following the tournament. “I think it's so important and congratulations to Meijer for all the amazing work that they have done, and the amount of money that they've raised, like $48 million over the last years, it's just incredible. To be a small part of that with the LPGA Tour girls and make sure we're helping out in the community just a little bit, and they're taking huge steps to try to improve the community and help people in it, I think it's just incredible and I'm just happy to be a part of it.”

Weather Updates

12:15 Update 

Tee times for Thursday’s first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give remain DELAYED until 2:15 p.m. due to today’s heavy rains.

The spectator gates are expected to open at 2:15 p.m. at this time.

The heaviest rains are passed us now and the drying trend begins. The golf course still needs some drying time.

Expect soft conditions, periods of rain and gusty winds.

Round one will be played with preferred lies.  Please add 7 hours to your original starting time.

11:30am Update 

Tee times for Thursday’s first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give are DELAYED until 1:45 p.m. due to heavy rains. Please add 6 hours and 30 minutes to your original round one starting time for both the morning and afternoon waves.

The spectator gates are expected to open at 1:45 p.m. at this time.

Although the weather threw us a curve ball this morning, we have the benefit of lots of daylight at this time of year to help us recover and get back on track for a 72-hole competition on Sunday.

Another band of more moderate rain is expected over the golf course in the next 15 minutes and how that affects conditions will determine if we can start at 1:45 p.m. Once this next band of showers passes, we expect light drizzle and clearing skies after 3:00 pm. 

 

8:00am Update 

Tee times for Thursday’s first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give are AGAIN DELAYED until 1:15 PM at the earliest. The spectator gates will open at 1:15 p.m. as of right now. 

The low pressure system to the southeast is finally starting to show signs of movement but the golf course has received over an inch of rain since the storm began. The golf course is completely saturated and needs time to drain.

The first starting time for round one has been delayed a total of 6 hours. 

Updates will be made as information becomes available.

 

7:00am Update 

Tee times for Thursday’s first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give are again delayed until 9:30 a.m. at the earliest due to heavy rains. The spectator gates will open at 9:30 a.m. as of right now. 

The Blythefield Country Club maintenance team was able to get started clearing the puddles from the course this morning and then had to stop due to heavy rains just before daybreak when another band of moderate rain headed our way. Once they can continue their morning work, we will access the golf course to see when we can actually start the golf tournament. 

Updates will be made as information becomes available.

 

6:00am Update 

Tee times for Thursday’s first round of the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give are delayed1 hour and 30 minutes due to heavy rains.  

The earliest possible starting time will be 8:45am.

 

Meijer LPGA Classic to be First on LPGA Tour with On-Course Lactation, Diaper Changing Stations

Meijer LPGA Classic to be First on LPGA Tour with On-Course Lactation, Diaper Changing Stations


First-of-its-kind family care area added for nursing mothers and families


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Officials with the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give announce the addition of a Family Care Area for nursing mothers and parents to utilize during tournament week at Blythefield Country Club.


It’s the first time a tournament on the LPGA Tour added specific rooms for lactation use and diaper changing on the golf course, according to Ricki Lasky, the LPGA’s chief tournament business officer.


“The Family Care Area at the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give – the first facility of its kind on the LPGA Tour – will make it so easy for Grand Rapids families to enjoy world-class golf,” Lasky said. “The LPGA Tour has 11 mothers actively playing and three more players are expecting this year, and so many of our fans have young families of their own. It’s remarkable that the Meijer LPGA Classic has taken the initiative to create this experience for spectators.”


The upgraded hospitality area, called The Kimberly Clark Family Care Area, will be located next to Discovery Land in front of the 18 Tee. This air-conditioned tent will include four locking rooms – two of which will have lactation stations and four will have diaper changing stations – and an upgraded waiting area for kids and families. Kimberly Clark will also have samples for families who utilize the space. It will be open from Wednesday through Sunday of tournament week.


The added support for moms attending the Meijer LPGA Classic is not lost on LPGA Professional Cristie Kerr.


“The support Meijer has provided for us moms on tour has been amazing. We are creating a new normal, traveling with our kids to compete in tournaments, and it’s great to see the progress over time,” said the 20-time LPGA tour winner. “The Meijer LPGA Classic is an event I look forward to every year and I am so excited to see the new Family Care Area that they are creating this year.”


“Each year, we try to build on the momentum of the previous year to do more for families,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “More than 50,000 people attended our tournament last year, and we know many of them would’ve appreciated this convenience. We are pleased to partner with Kimberly Clark to extend this service, which is the first on the Tour.”


Youth, ages 17 and under, will receive free admission to the tournament with a ticketed adult. Discovery Land is free and open to anyone with a ticket to the Meijer LPGA Classic.
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.


The spring Simply Give campaign is underway and runs through the end of the tournament on June 16. Individuals may purchase a $10 Simply Give donation card at any Meijer store during that timeframe to support the store’s local food pantry partner.


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.


For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give or to volunteer or purchase tickets, please visit meijerLPGAclassic.com.
To view a highlight video featuring the 2018 Meijer LPGA Classic, please follow this link: https://youtu.be/VWVpmCAe5LQ.

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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