News & ToursJuly 8, 2008

LPGA Event Teams with Celebs in Online Auction

The LPGA State Farm Classic and the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation have teamed up to raise money for children's charities through an online auction with part of the proceeds going to Golf Fore Africa, the non-profit organization set up by former player Betsy King to help AIDS orphans in Rwanda. The auction, which begins July 14 and runs for two weeks, will include signed items donated by King, Karrie Webb, Sherri Steinhauer, Natalie Gulbis, Michelle Wie and others. Click here for details.

"This is the first golf-related auction since Clothes Off Our Back began, and we are excited to be working with the State Farm Classic and Golf Fore Africa to host this event," said Clothes Off Our Back executive director Michel Schneider. The charity is the creation of Jane Kaczmarek, the seven-time Emmy nominated actress for "Malcolm in the Middle," and her husband, Bradley Whitford, who won an Emmy for his portrayal of Josh Lyman in "The West Wing." Their charity works with celebrities, athletes and other high-profile individuals to raise money for children's causes such as autism research, hunger relief, critically ill children and girls' scholarship programs in Africa.

King started Golf Fore Africa after touring several AIDS-ravaged African countries, one of which was Rwanda. She was especially touched by the story of Rwanda, which underwent a genocide in 1994 during which more than 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed by Hutu extremists in 100 days. King returned to Rwanda last October with fellow Hall of Famer Juli Inkster, former LPGA player Renee Powell, current players Reilley Rankin and Katherine Hull and teaching pro Wendy Poscillico. This year at the McDonald's LPGA Championship, Golf Fore African presented a check for $250,000 to the relief organization World Vision to help its work in the Rwandan village of Mudasomwa.

"After seeing with my own eyes the devastating conditions in Rwanda caused by AIDS and the 1994 genocide, I knew I had to do something to help," King said. "Thanks to all the players who have contributed to this effort, the State Farm Classic and the Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, we will continue to provide hope for children trying to survive a world many of us cannot even imagine."

The State Farm Classic runs July 17-20 at Panther Creek Country Club in Springfield, Ill.

--Ron Sirak

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