2015 WM Phoenix Open And The Thunderbirds Raise Record-Breaking $9,060,731 For Local Charities

Waste Management Phoenix Open hosts, The Thunderbirds, will hand out $9,060,731 to local charities through proceeds raised from the 2015 tournament, Thunderbirds Big Chief Danny Calihan announced today at the Foundation for Blind Children. This is the highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, helping to reach a historic milestone of more than $100 million that The Thunderbirds have raised in the history of the organization, dating back to 1932.

This marks the first time that The Thunderbirds have eclipsed the $9 million mark in money raised in a single year, surpassing the previous record of $8.8 million that was raised in 2008.

“Congratulations to The Thunderbirds on setting a record with more than $9 million raised for charity from this year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “This is an incredible achievement that will have a profound effect on the lives of many. The tournament is annually one of the leaders on the PGA TOUR in terms of the impact it is having in the community and that is due to the selfless efforts of The Thunderbirds, Waste Management, the tournament staff and all of those involved in the event.”

The Thunderbirds and the Waste Management Phoenix Open have raised more than $36 million ($36,372,368) for charities since 2010 when Waste Management became title sponsor. In its history, dating back to 1932, the Phoenix Open has raised more than $102 million ($102,418,934) for charities in Arizona.

“Each and every year is special when we make this announcement but this year is extra special and truly a proud moment for The Thunderbirds,” Calihan said. “We had our eye on the road to $100 million, and to reach that milestone by breaking our own single-year record is spectacular. Thanks to our title sponsor Waste Management and to great community and corporate support we were able to achieve our goals and help out so many children and families in need in the Valley.”

The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open was a record-setting event, as two of the tournament days drew record attendance along with the overall attendance record for the week. Wednesday’s record attendance reached 75,380, while Thursday’s first round attendance record was set at 118,461, the first time a Thursday crowd reached more than 100,000 in the tournament’s history. The weeklong attendance of 564,368 edged out the previous record of 563,008, which was set in 2014.

“The 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open was another record-setting year – from attendance to unprecedented sustainability success as a zero waste event – but one of the most notable achievements is the tournament’s impact on the community,” said Jim Trevathan, Waste Management Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “The $9 million donated to local charities is not only The Thunderbird’s highest single-year charitable donation in tournament history, it’s a testament to all that can be accomplished when fans, players, vendors and sponsors come together.”

The 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open will be held at TPC Scottsdale February 1 – 7, 2016. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is the best-attended golf tournament in the world and has gained legendary status for being the most unique stop on the PGA TOUR. The 2016 edition will mark the 81st playing of the event (one of the five oldest events on the PGA TOUR) and the seventh as the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

About The Thunderbirds/Thunderbirds Charities
Thunderbirds Charities is a non-profit organization formed in 1986 to distribute monies raised through the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament. The Thunderbirds Charities Board consists of 15 board members from varying professional backgrounds. The mission of Thunderbirds Charities is to assist children and families, help people in need and improve the quality of life in our communities. The organization’s giving is directed toward organizations based or with a significant presence in Arizona. The Thunderbirds were founded in 1937 with the mission of promoting the Valley of the Sun through sports. The Thunderbirds consist of 55 “active” members and more than 250 “life” members. For more information on the Thunderbirds or the 2016 Waste Management Phoenix Open, visit www.wmphoenixopen.com. For more information on Thunderbirds Charities, visit www.thunderbirdscharities.org.

About the Foundation for Blind Children
The Foundation for Blind Children was founded in 1952 by parents of blind children who wanted services for their blind children in Phoenix, instead of having to send them to the State Institution for the Blind in Tucson. The Foundation for Blind Children is the largest non-profit agency of it’s kind in the United States serving the blind and visually impaired of all ages, from birth to currently 102 years old. As the only agency of its kind in Arizona, the Foundation for Blind Children is an essential resource to families and children with blindness or low vision. With three Valley locations (East Valley, West Valley and Central Phoenix), we strive to serve as “the” community’s resource for blind, visually impaired, and multi-handicapped children, adults, and their families. For more information please visit www.seeitourway.org.