The American Legends for Mountain Mission Kids, an all-star charitable golf tournament held Monday at The Olde Farm in Bristol, Virginia, grossed $56.6 million in support of the Mountain Mission School (MMS) endowment fund, which supports MMS. The total is the new largest single-day charitable gift in PGA TOUR history, significantly exceeding the previous gross record of $15 million set in 2010 by The Olde Farm’s Big 3 event, which featured Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and the late Arnold Palmer.The tournament featured an iconic slate of sporting celebrities, including golf greats Nicklaus, Player, Lee Trevino, Lorena Ochoa, Tim Finchem, Lanny Wadkins and Betsy King; NFL icons Peyton Manning and Dan Marino; and star NBA coach and player Jerry West. Palmer was memorialized at the event, which fell on what would have been his 89th birthday.
“This is the result of an exciting partnership with a group of extraordinary athletes and sponsors,” said Jim McGlothlin, founder of The Olde Farm. “For 97 years, Mountain Mission School has provided a home, an extended family and high-quality education for children in need. Many generous hearts have created a much firmer foundation for the thousands of children the school serves — now, and in the century to come.”Founded in Grundy, Virginia, in 1921, MMS is an accredited, non-profit school that provides stability, shelter, nourishment and a high-quality education for at-risk children. The school receives no federal or state funding, and for nearly a century has operated solely on financial gifts from patrons. One letter in the MMS archives documents a gift for six cents, while others have committed to much more.
Since its establishment, the school has served thousands of children from the United States and 70 additional countries. Students range in age from toddlers to older teens and represent diverse economic, social and ethnic backgrounds. Many have been rescued from abandonment, extreme poverty or violent environments.
“Our students come out of very difficult circumstances, but we know that their past does not define their potential,” said Chris Slone, president of MMS. “Our track record proves that the kind of supportive atmosphere we provide creates positive change. Not only do our patrons uphold a physical campus of brick and mortar — they help construct an environment of healing and hope, and we are very grateful for their support.”Title sponsors of the event included Gregory Pharmaceutical Holdings, makers of Blue-Emu®, Food City, Johnson & Johnson, and the United Company.
“No doubt this is one of the finest charity golf events in the world,” Player said. “I recall being at The Olde Farm not too long ago with Jack and Arnold when we raised more than $15 million on the day, and I am blown away by the new record amount we have raised this year. Jim McGlothlin is a special man who continues to unselfishly contribute to society and specifically to children, whom as we know are the trustees of posterity.”
For more information on the event, visit www.theamericanlegends.com. Those who wish to donate to Mountain Mission School may do so at www.mmskids.org.