By Macy Covington

When 862 men and women made a commitment to volunteer at the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation in 2017, the first question from most of the volunteers’ friends and families may have revolved around any unique opportunities garnered to get up close to the celebrity-fueled action. After all, with high-profile positions like walking scorers and course marshals manned by dedicated volunteers, it is a logical thing to wonder. But for many who dedicated countless hours on the courses and in the clubhouses, there was a much greater and nobler motivation.

For 17 years, the BMW Charity Pro-Am has not only brought the fastest-rising players of the PGA and your favorite stars of the field, stage, and screen to the Upstate — it has also served to support dozens of charities who have made an almost immeasurable impact on the lives of children, seniors, veterans, and thousands more.

This year will be no exception. In 2018, the tournament has elected to shine the spotlight on four worthwhile organizations that are changing the lives of our fellow community members: Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System, Cliffs Residents Outreach, Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, and Upstate SC STEM Collaborative.

Caring for more than 330,000 infants, children, and adolescents each year, the doctors, nurses, and staff at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System have dedicated their talents to what we all hold most precious — the lives of our children. In addition to meeting the physical needs of little ones, the hospital works to meet emotional needs as well. From expert care for critically ill newborns to a facility dog program aiding children and adolescents in medical rehabilitation and psychiatric programs, Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System is healing and nurturing our future.

Cliffs Residents Outreach’s mission is simply put but greatly vast: enabling Upstate children to succeed. The organization focuses on literacy, nutrition, and mentoring kids across Greenville, Pickens, and Oconee counties. Volunteerism was paramount to the organization’s ability to change the lives of children last year, with 18,000 hours dedicated to assisting 5,634 kids. Programs supported by Cliffs Residents Outreach include funding before and after-school programs, a summer reading camp, and subsidies for eyeglasses, hearing aids, and dental appointments not covered by Medicaid or insurance.

Mobile Meals of Spartanburg “glorifies God by providing nutritious meals, services, and fellowship to the frail and homebound citizens of Spartanburg County.” Each weekday, volunteers deliver meals to residents not able to prepare food for themselves due to physical or emotional limitations. Proving especially impactful to those suffering from depression or loneliness, the ministry of Mobile Meals touches the lives of 1,500 recipients each year. Mobile Meals also partners with similar organizations to support 550 hunger-feeding agencies in 19 counties.

Upstate SC STEM Collaborative works to promote STEM with an ultimate goal of elevating the region’s economic success by supporting ongoing workforce development programs and launching new STEM initiatives. Those initiatives include bridging the opportunity gap by providing STEM teacher resources and education to underserved areas across the Upstate and promoting awareness and support for STEM career paths. Upstate SC STEM Collaborative knows that the future economic success of the region and the stability of its residents depends on present-day action.

These charities and the dozens of other local philanthropies who will benefit from tickets sales and a Birdies for Charities fundraising arm depend on you. When you choose to donate your time, you are not only gaining a tale to tell of an unforgettable day at the tournament; you are also showing support to a child who is battling the odds at Children’s Hospital of Greenville Health System or proving that you care about the literacy of Upstate kids through the Cliffs Residents Outreach. When you volunteer, you are telling everyone that you think the nurturing and nutritional services provided by Mobile Meals are important and that the brighter future possible through the Upstate SC STEM Collaborative is vital, too.

To sign up to be a volunteer and select the featured charity dearest to you, visit There you can also learn about the Birdies for Charities initiative that will help dozens of other worthwhile local philanthropies as well.

Give your time. Give your heart. Get a lot back in return. Volunteer for the 2018 BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation.

Macy Covington is the program manager of the BMW Charity Pro-Am presented by SYNNEX Corporation.

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