The Principal Charity Classic, presented by Wells Fargo, today announced that its 2019 golf tournament raised more than $5.7 million in support of Iowa kids, topping the event’s previous record of $4.3 million set last year. 

The annual PGA Tour Champions event in Des Moines has now raised more than $23 million for Iowa kids since Principal Financial Group signed on as the title sponsor in 2007.

The $1.4 million additional amount raised this year — the largest year-over-year increase yet — is more than double the entire amount that was raised in the inaugural tournament in 2007, which was $575,000. The total amount raised in 2019 represents a tenfold increase in annual proceeds compared with the initial year. 

“Year after year we set the bar higher for this event, so it’s a very rewarding day when we can share how it continues to grow and exceed expectations.” said Dan Houston, chairman, president and CEO of Principal. “This giving record is a direct reflection of the community’s support for this world-class golf event and the incredible commitment from our charity partners, fans, volunteers and local, national and global business sponsors.” 

The tournament benefits more than 130,000 kids each year in philanthropic areas including education, health, and arts and culture. Tournament proceeds provide support to six Tournament Charity Partners in the Des Moines area: 

- Blank Children’s Hospital.
- Bravo Greater Des Moines.
- Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines.
- MercyOne Des Moines.
- United Way of Central Iowa.
- Variety – the Children’s Charity of Iowa. 

Additionally, the 2019 proceeds support nearly 100 Birdies for Charity programs throughout the state. That giving program, which was added to the tournament in 2008, enables donors to pledge a contribution based on the total number of birdies made by the players. 

The Birdies for Charity programs receive 100% of every donation collected on their behalf, plus an additional 10% in matching funds. Each enrolled charity is eligible for a total of $10,000 in matching funds each year. This year, incidentally, was also a new record for the number of birdies made during the tournament — 894. 

Many factors have contributed to the success and growth in the tournament proceeds, said Doug Habgood, director of the Principal Charity Classic. “We like to say that since 2007, all we’ve done is add a zero to that total. It sounds like a simple thing, but it’s a big move,” he said. 

Habgood declined to disclose details of the distribution of the proceeds among the six charity partners and the Birdies for Charity programs.  

Included in the record annual proceeds is $30,000 that the PGA Tour Champions donated in January to Variety as its 2018 Charity of the Year. 

Looking at the total amount raised to benefit the charities, ”we’re very proud of the increase,” he said. “To impact 130,000 kids — this our favorite day of the year. We’re really excited about that.”

The 2020 Principal Charity Classic tournament will take place May 26-31 at the Wakonda Club in Des Moines. To learn more about the Principal Charity Classic or to make an online donation in support of the tournament’s year-round charitable giving efforts, visit principalcharityclassic.com.