Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Seeks Record Number of Volunteers

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Seeks Record Number of Volunteers

Officials aim to secure 1,200 volunteers for weeklong tournament                      

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Volunteer registration for the 2020 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give is open, and tournament officials say they need more than 1,200 volunteers to ensure the weeklong tournament runs smoothly at Blythefield Country Club.

It’s the highest number of volunteers needed in the tournament’s 7-year tenure, and it’s double the number officials hoped for during the inaugural Meijer LPGA Classic held in 2014.

“The Meijer LPGA Classic has come a long way over the years, and it’s truly become a family event the entire community can enjoy, and one considered top notch on the LPGA Tour,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “But it takes a village of fantastic volunteers to reach that level and ours are dedicated to the tournament’s continued success.”

The tournament is seeking more than 1,200 volunteers to fill roles on 28 different committees, ranging from marshals and standard bearers to transportation and assisting inside the media center. Descriptions of the volunteer opportunities and additional details can be found here.

The “Refer a Friend” program introduced last year is returning, which means all returning volunteers will be eligible for a $20 Meijer gift card when they refer a friend who did not volunteer during the 2019 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 tournament. There is a limit of one gift card per returning volunteer.

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 family or friends, and meals and beverages during scheduled shifts. The volunteer badge is valid as a grounds pass, as well as provides access to the tournament and parking for tournament week.

New this year for volunteers is the choice between a weekend Grand Taste ticket good Friday through Sunday, or Peter Millar outerwear.

The 2020 Meijer LPGA Classic will be held June 8-14 at Blythefield Country Club and 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 2019 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the six tournaments have generated more than $5.2 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 #forehunger and #MeijerGives.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please visit MeijerLPGAclassic.com.

To view a video featuring the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic, please visit https://vimeo.com/390053795/98c4383411.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Touted as Best Tournament for Families and Foodies

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Touted as Best Tournament for Families and Foodies

2019 tournament won multiple Gold Driver Awards                      

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. –The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give was recognized as the Most Family Friendly and Best “Foodie” Experience on Tour during the Gold Driver Awards held by the LPGA tournament partners.

“We are honored to receive these prestigious awards, which ultimately belong to the community,” Meijer President & CEO Rick Keyes said. “The Meijer LPGA Classic has grown to what it is today thanks to the tremendous community support. This recognition is a testament to the community, our volunteers and the significant amount of work we have put into this event over the past 6 year. We look forward to showcasing another premier event this year that supports our Simply Give program.”

The Gold Driver Awards are determined by a panel of three independent judges who utilize a point-based system to determine winners in 10 categories from the 33 LPGA Tour events.

The Most Family Friendly event is awarded to the tournament that best incorporated family-friendly elements through sponsors, events and ticket packages. The Meijer LPGA Classic took first place in this category for Discovery Land, the kids’ destination that doubled in size – to 4,300 square feet – to incorporate more toys and activities for young golf fans.

It was also recognized for the unprecedented addition of a Family Care Area, called The Kimberly Clark Family Care Area, for nursing mothers and parents to utilize during tournament week. It was the first time a tournament on the LPGA Tour added specific rooms for lactation use and diaper changing on the golf course.

The Best “Foodie” Experience is awarded to the event that showcases the best all-around food experience. The Grand Taste Experience is a one-of-a-kind three-day event for foodies, golf fans, families and music lovers. It incorporates the Grand Taste, which features dozens of local restaurants, breweries, Meijer vendors and food, and the Grand Taste Garden that lives across the fairway and features food, outdoor games and live music.

“The Grand Taste and the Discovery Land are events unlike anything else on tour. They draw families and foodies to the course to not only enjoy world class golf but an experience everyone can enjoy,” said Cathy Cooper, Executive Director of the Meijer LPGA Classic. “We are thankful to our partners who help us bring these ideas to life for the community.”

The 2020 Meijer LPGA Classic will be held June 8-14 at Blythefield Country Club and 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 2019 tournament alone raised $1.1 million for local food pantries through Simply Give. In total, the six tournaments have generated more than $5.2 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 #forehunger and #MeijerGives.

Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give Extends Tournament through 2021

The 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give renewed its agreement with the LPGA and Blythefield Country Club for two more years, extending the popular tournament through 2021, tournament officials announced.

"The Meijer LPGA Classic has made an incredible impact on our hungry neighbors, and we are excited to continue to come together with the community to make a difference," Meijer LPGA Classic Executive Director Cathy Cooper said. "This tournament is such a special way for families to spend time together, and we couldn't be more pleased with the community support."

Despite the rain, the 2019 Meijer LPGA Classic boasted record attendance with more than 56,000 visitors throughout the week. Additionally, it generated $1.1 million for the retailer's Simply Give program that stocks the shelves of food pantries across the Midwest. In total, the six previous tournaments have generated $5.2 million for Simply Give.

Upcoming tournament dates are June 8-14, 2020 and June 7-13, 2021, and will, once again, feature events for the entire family. It will host a full field of 144 of the best women golfers for 72 holes of stroke play over four days of competition.

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.

For more information on the Meijer LPGA Classic for Simply Give, please visit MeijerLPGAClassic.com.

To view a video featuring the 2017 Meijer LPGA Classic, please visit https://youtu.be/XLMIQZWp78c.

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.