The Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich continued its tradition of giving in 2020. The annual tournament, which celebrated its fourth year in October, donated more than $89,600 to four charities this season.
In 2019, the American Junior Golf Association announced the Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich as its top event with a charitable giving impact thanks to more than $115,000 split between Jacksonville-based Feeding Northeast Florida and the AJGA’s financial aid program, the Achieving Competitive Excellence (ACE) Grant.
In 2020, a year so critical for giving back to charity, the Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich expanded its footprint to also provide funding to K9s for Warriors, focused on ending veteran suicide and creating support through pairing rescued and train shelter dogs as Service Dogs for Warriors, and First Descents, which provides life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults impacted by cancer and other serious health conditions.
Each year, the AJGA presents awards to tournaments with the best individual hospitality, Junior-Am Fundraising Tournament, charitable giving, media and social media support, game-changing ideas, and volunteer base. One overall top tournament, as well as events at every level (new, Preview, Junior All-Star, Invitational), are honored. The year’s most outstanding golf professional, superintendent and golf course executive are also recognized. Billy Horschel and his team, Fairwhay Management, were recognized on-site at the Billy Horschel Junior Championship in 2020.
In total, three PGA TOUR player-supported tournaments led the overall fundraising to return more than $1.4 million to grassroots junior golf organizations and charity in 2019. In 2020, AJGA overall event dollars to charity eclipsed $1.3 million.
“The passion Billy and Brittany have for giving back make them incredible ambassadors for the AJGA, and for golf,” said AJGA Executive Director Stephen Hamblin. “The outstanding teamwork between Billy, his family and sponsors, local supporters and the entire event committee has directly, and significantly, impacted so many lives. Their leadership sets a great example for the next generation.”
The Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich was, and continues as the AJGA’s first-ever and only Stableford format tournament. The five-time PGA TOUR champion and three-time University of Florida All-American became the second active professional player to join the Foundation Board of Directors in 2018.
Brittany and I are honored we could continue building upon our 2019 Charitable Giving Award from the AJGA. Especially in 2020 we are grateful to our sponsors we have in Zurich, CVS, Velocity Global, Ralph Lauren, Garden of Life, Urbanista, Clckr and Aquahydrate for helping us expand the footprint of charities we impact from this event.
Billy and Brittany Horschel met in 2004 playing in an AJGA event in Ringgold, Georgia, and played together in four tournaments. Their deep connection to junior golf and the Association inspired the formation of the Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich in 2017 along with the start of an ACE Grant endowment, which was fully funded in just three years.
The endowment’s proceeds annually help talented junior golfers access the funding needed to pursue their dream of a college scholarship. The ACE Grant is a financial assistance program that reimburses entry fees and travel expenses for qualified national junior golf, high school state, and USGA events, and need is evaluated based on audited tax information. Since its inception in 2003, the AJGA has reimbursed more than $4 million in member expenses and ACE Grant recipients earned more than $15 million in college golf scholarships.
To date, more than $175,000 in charitable proceeds from Horschel’s event was donated to Feeding Northeast Florida, which helps more than 260,000 local children and families, seniors and active and retired military members who struggle to put food on the table. Working with local grocery stores, manufacturers, and farms, the charity rescues high-quality food that would normally be wasted and transforms it into meals for those in need.
“Billy has been the ultimate champion for our organization,” said President and CEO Susan King. “We at Feeding Northeast Florida are fortunate beyond measure to have the support of Billy Horschel and his family—volunteering, fundraising, advocating, and raising awareness about the issue of hunger in our community. His philanthropic work through the Billy Horschel Junior Championship presented by Zurich has enabled us to provide over 800,000 meals to our neighbors struggling with hunger. Billy, we are profoundly grateful to you for your service to golf, Feeding Northeast Florida, and our community.”
“It is truly remarkable what we have been able to accomplish with all the sponsors and support of the local community here in Jacksonville,” Horschel said. “We look forward to doing so much more in 2021.”
“Giving back to charities and organizations not only locally, but nationally, has been a goal of Brittany’s and mine since I joined the PGA TOUR. We understood the position I was going to be in – to help raise money and donate our money to people who need help. It has been a goal [we] talk about all the time of leaving this world in a better place than we found it. We stress that goal to our children now and we hope that they will share in it.”