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Memphis, Tennessee – (January 8, 2009) – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and Stanford Financial Group announced that FedExCup Runner-Up Camilo Villegas has increased his commitment to Eagles for St. Jude with a pledge to match Singh’s donation of $5,000 to St. Jude for every eagle he cards on the 2009 PGA TOUR. Eagles for St. Jude is a powerful program that has united Villegas, FedExCup Champion Vijay Singh and rising LPGA star Morgan Pressel, along with the Golf Channel and the program’s founder, Stanford Financial Group, with the sole purpose of increasing donations to St. Jude, one of the world’s premier pediatric cancer research centers.
For Villegas and Singh, exceeding expectations extends beyond the tournaments. In December, this pair of PGA pros, along with Pressel, gathered at St. Jude in Memphis to help present a record-breaking $2.57 million donation to the hospital raised through the 2008 Eagles for St. Jude program and the 2008 Stanford St. Jude Championship. Villegas donated $30,000, more than double his commitment of $3,000 per eagle, and Singh donated $300,000 to St. Jude, well above his commitment of $5,000 per eagle he carded. The $2.57 million donation also included Stanford Financial Group’s donation of $1,000 for each of the 1,118 eagles recorded on the PGA TOUR and the 469 eagles carded on the LPGA Tour. It also comprised donations from FedEx and from the general public who supported the Eagles program throughout the year via the Eagles for St. Jude Web site and online auction.
“When I joined Vijay in supporting the Eagles for St. Jude program last year, I had no idea how much it would change my life,” said Villegas. “The more time I spend with these incredible kids who are battling deadly diseases, the more I want to help them. While we were at St. Jude in December, Vijay and I talked about ways to get more golfers to support Eagles, so I’m putting my money where my mouth is. I also can’t be outdone by Vijay,” added Villegas with a laugh.
Singh, who serves as Global Ambassador for the Eagles for St. Jude program, said, “This is great news for the kids of St. Jude! I know Camilo has been moved by these kids the past year, and I am not at all surprised he has increased his support to the program. Camilo is a great golfer, so I’m sure his donation for the 2009 TOUR will be significant! We only hope that other golfers join us in helping the kids of St. Jude by supporting the Eagles for St. Jude program,” added Singh.
The Eagles for St. Jude program, created during Stanford Financial Group’s inaugural sponsorship year of the Stanford St. Jude Championship out of the desire to provide a season-long fundraising component to the Memphis PGA TOUR event, began with Stanford’s commitment to donate $1,000 to St. Jude for every eagle made on the PGA TOUR in the name of the player that makes the eagle. The program has grown exponentially in just two short years and continues to gather momentum with Villegas, Singh and Pressel promoting it along with the Golf Channel.
“Thanks to Eagles for St. Jude and Stanford, excellence on the golf course is translated into research and care at St. Jude,” said David L. McKee, Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. “We are so grateful for this remarkable program and for the amazing commitment Camilo, Vijay and Morgan have made to the kids of St. Jude.”
For more information on the Eagles for St. Jude program, please visit www.eaglesforstjude.com.
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by the late entertainer Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tennessee, St. Jude freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatments not covered by insurance. No child is ever denied treatment because of the family’s inability to pay. St. Jude is financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more information, please visit www.stjude.org.