The American Express tees up to benefit local nonprofits till 2028

·4 min read
PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau (left), an American Express golf ambassador, shares a smile with World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson.
PGA Tour golfer Tony Finau (left), an American Express golf ambassador, shares a smile with World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson.

This year's American Express 2022 golf tournament in La Quinta exceeded all expectations. The star-studded event was a win-win for all — not only for the players and for Coachella Valley golf enthusiasts but for our community’s nonprofit organizations.

And the exciting announcement by American Express and the PGA Tour to extend the global financial company’s Title Sponsorship to the Coachella Valley’s event through 2028 brings stability to this event for many years to come. The extension adds four additional years to the initial agreement, making American Express the Title Sponsor for nine years.

“Giving back to the community while celebrating the passions of our customers is at the center of what we do at American Express,” said Stephen J. Squeri, the company's chairman and chief executive officer. “We’ve seen the positive impact this tournament has on golf fans in the local community. We are honored to continue this legacy by extending our role as Title Sponsor and growing the total charitable funds raised to support so many outstanding local organizations focused on helping small businesses, the health and wellness of the community, youth sports, family support, education, homelessness and much more.”

Pat McCabe, executive director of the American Express golf tournament, announces some of the well known players that will be in the field for the 2022 tournament at PGA West in La Quinta, December 9, 2021.
Pat McCabe, executive director of the American Express golf tournament, announces some of the well known players that will be in the field for the 2022 tournament at PGA West in La Quinta, December 9, 2021.

Since its inception in 1960 as the Palm Springs Golf Classic, Riverside County’s annual PGA Tour golf event has generated more than $63 million for nonprofits in the Coachella Valley, thus enabling the organizations to continue providing much-needed programs and services and enriching the lives of so many residents.

“When the Mickelson Foundation became the host of the American Express PGA Tour event, a commitment was made to keep proceeds local to support our charities,” said Linda Evans, mayor of La Quinta and Mickelson Foundation board member. “They have done just that. Over the past two years, the Mickelson Foundation and American Express have donated $2.1 million to nonprofits in our area. These charitable donations provide local organizations needed funds to serve and grow their programs and services. It’s a positive and significant impact on the residents of our communities.”

The American Express is hosted by one of the most popular and successful golfers in history — the tourney's 2002 and 2004 champion and World Golf Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson, who won his sixth major championship and 45th PGA Tour title at the 2021 PGA championship. The Coachella Valley tournament is the first PGA Tour regular season event in the continental U. S. each year, and it kicks off the Tour’s West Coast swing.

Gary McBride, right, presents to Herman Lopez of the Hunter Lopez Memorial Scholarship Fund. American Express distributed $1.1 million to Coachella Valley charities at the La Quinta Country Club, Nov. 16, 2021.
Gary McBride, right, presents to Herman Lopez of the Hunter Lopez Memorial Scholarship Fund. American Express distributed $1.1 million to Coachella Valley charities at the La Quinta Country Club, Nov. 16, 2021.

“The American Express/Mickelson Foundation tournament is a phenomenal event and is impactful to the larger desert community from both an economic boon and profoundly important philanthropic perspectives,” said Richard Balocco, City of Indian Wells council member and president and CEO of nonprofit Desert Arc. “Their generous contributions represent a significant investment in the well-being of Coachella Valley residents and businesses, including nonprofit organizations alike. Their visionary engagement and support make a meaningful difference in the lives of many people. In the case of Desert Arc, their donation affords us the ability to offset the cost of salaries for two nurses who are required in our service to people with disabilities but are not funded by the State of California. It’s literally a life-transforming gift to the people served by Desert Arc’s mission.”

Another recipient of this tournament’s philanthropy, Walter Mueller, director of development for Olive Crest, said: “This golf tournament and support from American Express and the Mickelson Foundation has provided a much needed and hugely appreciated boost for the funding of our services to local children and families in crisis. I know that I speak for many other local nonprofits by saying that the tournament and subsequent funding makes it possible for us to provide better quality of life for residents in the area. I am so pleased that this investment will be continuing.”

“Our tournament’s foremost mission will always be to serve as a caretaker to our community, with the perpetual goal of positively impacting the Coachella Valley,” said Pat McCabe, executive director of The American Express. “We are so thankful for the tremendous support of our Title Sponsor, American Express. Without its unwavering support of the tournament, none of this would be possible. We look forward to a bright future ahead.”

Madeline Zuckerman is owner and president of M. Zuckerman Marketing & Public Relations Inc., a strategic marketing, branding, public relations and special events firm with offices in Rancho Mirage and Newport Beach, California. She has been a guest reporter for The Desert Sun for 14 years, is a founder at McCallum Theatre and serves on the Board of Shelter From The Storm. Her long-standing clients include AFP, Desert Arc, Mama's House and Olive Crest.

This article originally appeared on Palm Springs Desert Sun: The American Express tees up to benefit local nonprofits till 2028