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Executive Director's Message

Dear Community Champion,

While this year’s Thanksgiving holiday may have looked differently for so many of us, it is our hope that feelings and expressions of gratitude were abundantly shared by and with all you love. It is no doubt that 2020 has forced us all to adapt to new customs, practices and traditions. However, I think it has also strengthened our appreciation for people who serve and sacrifice to improve the lives of others - first responders, medical teams, educators, grocers, charitable leaders, military members and many others.

Earlier this month, at City of Jacksonville Mayor Curry’s Veterans Day Breakfast, I was afforded the opportunity to express our appreciation to Mr. Sollie Mitchell, Florida’s oldest World War II veteran.  We had the honor of hosting Mr. Mitchell during Military Appreciation Day at THE PLAYERS Championship 2020. While there, Mr. Mitchell, who shared that his favorite golfer is Tiger Woods, expressed an interest in having his hat signed by a few of the world’s best golfers that week; but the cancellation of our championship put that mission on hold.  Undeterred, we shipped Mitchell’s hat across the country to the ZOZO Championship to ensure that some of the biggest names on TOUR would sign it. In addition to signing his hat, Tiger Woods also recorded a special message. Click the image below to see the rousing applause and gratitude expressed for this deserving hero. It is these types of smiles and experiences that we aspire to create by hosting THE PLAYERS Championship.

We are already less than 100 days to go until THE PLAYERS 2021, March 9-14.  And we continue to finetune the comprehensive plans we have developed to contribute to the health and safety of everyone associated with THE PLAYERS, our greatest priority. In the coming months, more information about our plans will be announced.

In the meantime, please know that we thank you for your contributions to making our community better and wish you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.

Sincerely,  
 
Jared Rice
Executive Director, THE PLAYERS

Holden's VIP Trip to TPC Sawgrass
 
Three-year-old Holden has loved golf his entire life. In fact, his first steps were on a golf course, and you’ll always find a club in his hand. Holden has been battling brain cancer since he was one, and he recently has stopped responding to chemotherapy treatment and has not been given much time to live. After hearing Holden’s story (which went viral on TikTok) and learning that Holden’s dream was to play golf with a PGA TOUR player, the PGA TOUR arranged for a VIP experience for Holden and his family at TPC Sawgrass, which included: a private flight from the family’s home in Chicago, courtesy of our friends at NetJets, accommodations courtesy of the team at Sawgrass Marriott, a personal tour of the TPC Sawgrass clubhouse with Head Golf Professional Brian Riddle, a course tour with THE PLAYERS Executive Director Jared Rice (including the chance to hit a shot at 17!), a lesson at the Performance Center, and a special meet-and-great and lesson with Jim Furyk. Click the image below to see Holden’s dream come true.
 
Volunteer Spotlight: Ginamarie Anthony
 

Ginamarie was born and raised in Miami Beach before relocating to Greenwich, CT when she was a teenager.  After graduating from high school in 1980, she joined the United States Navy where she was selected to serve on an Auxiliary Repair ship, the USS Ajax, in San Diego, California.  During her two years aboard the Ajax she struck for Quarter Master.  Prior to 1980, it was uncommon for women to be stationed on Navy ships, so Ginamarie considers it the biggest honor of her life to do what few women before her were given the opportunity to do. She has continued this pioneering spirit of service at Florida Rock and Tank Lines where she serves as a Driver Liaison/HR Specialist. In this capacity, she helps onboard veterans into the company, thus ensuring that  our nation’s veterans are provided opportunities to succeed in the business world following their time in service.
 

This year will be Ginamarie’s 8th year volunteering at THE PLAYERS.  Since joining our volunteer family, Ginamarie has worked in the Supply, Honorary Observers and Patriots’ Outpost committees. Her passion is for the men and women of the military, which made Co-Chairing the Patriots’ Outpost a true honor. Her favorite tournament memory is when she received THE PLAYERS Pride Award during its inaugural year.  The award is presented by the Volunteer Leadership committee to volunteers who have been exceptional in their work throughout tournament week, representing THE PLAYERS as a Gold Standard.
 
“The anticipation of THE PLAYERS each year brings a sense of excitement. I have had the privilege of volunteering, and becoming friends with, so many committee teams.  I have maintained friendships with so many volunteers, and my life wouldn't be the same without knowing them.”
 

 
Ginamarie and her husband of 27 years, Jeff Anthony, have five children and six grandchildren.  In addition, Jeff and Ginamarie have fostered many children throughout the years through the Alpha Omega Miracle Home where she has served as a board member and volunteer for over 15 years. A resident of Ponte Vedra Beach, she enjoys family time at the beach and University of Alabama football.
Beyond the Ropes: THE PLAYERS Red and Blue Coats Lend a Helping Hand at Five Star Veterans Center
Long after the final putt is made at THE PLAYERS Championship, the impact of PGA TOUR’s flagship event extends throughout the year. With a commitment to support the communities in and near where it hosts its internationally-recognized tournament, THE PLAYERS has supported nonprofit organizations in the five-county area with more than $100 million. Each month, we will spotlight a charity making a difference in the lives of citizens and communities.
 

This Veterans Day, many of THE PLAYERS and PGA TOUR staff were out of the office. Joined by the Red Coats, the teams stepped away from their computers and virtual meetings and spent the day volunteering at Five Star Veterans Center. For hours, the team helped with outdoor projects including landscaping and replanting raised garden beds.  “Five Star Veterans Center makes such an impact on the health and well-being of veterans in our community,” said Troy Smith, THE PLAYERS 2021 Tournament Chairman.  “This landscaping project was just a small illustration of our appreciation to our veterans. The freedoms we all enjoy today are because of their service, sacrifice and commitment.”
 

 
Five Star Veterans Center was founded in March 2012 in order to assist veterans in need and ultimately give them the tools and the confidence to re-integrate into society and transition to living independently.  The organization has been a long-time beneficiary of THE PLAYERS and THE PLAYERS Red Coats.  During THE PLAYERS’ 2019 Military Appreciation Ceremony, THE PLAYERS surprised the center with a $50,000 donation alongside a $25,000 donation and a car that was presented to to a former participant of the Center.
News to Know
 
New Volunteer Registration
THE PLAYERS new volunteer registration will open December 2, 2021.  Volunteering at THE PLAYERS is a great opportunity to meet new individuals and to be part of a group that helps give back to Northeast Florida.  Click here to learn more.

THE PLAYERS DONNA 5K
Last month, nearly 1,000 runners from 35 states raced “Everywhere, Together” to benefit The DONNA Foundation in this year’s THE PLAYERS Virtual DONNA 5K.  Money generated from the race supported The DONNA Foundation’s efforts in providing financial assistance and support to families living with breast cancer, funding groundbreaking breast cancer research, and operating events and programs for survivorship, education and awareness.
Photos of the Month
Last week, PGA TOUR employees assembled and collected over 100 Thanksgiving Baskets to serve and support organizations who serve many of our area’s most vulnerable citizens. Accepting donations from employees who paraded through the Sawgrass parking lot throughout the morning, members of THE PLAYERS Red and Blue Coats volunteer leadership team delivered items to Youth Crisis Center, Angelwood, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Beaches Emergency Assistance Ministry.




 


Look Who's Talking: Emily Womak
Emily is new to THE PLAYERS Championship team, joining us from the TGR Foundation, a Tiger Woods charity.  As Manager of Tournament Services, Emily will play an essential role in client activation and communication throughout the year. Join us in welcoming Emily to the team and northeast Florida.

Where are you from: Warrenton, Virginia
How long have you been with the PGA TOUR: 1 month
What’s are your favorite sport teams: Baltimore Ravens
Hobby: Golfing
Favorite vacation spot: Hawaii
Bucket list item: Travel to Australia
 

 
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MARCH 8-14, 2021 | THEPLAYERS.COM

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